Like all posts here at City of Angels 2, in editing stages... This post is fiction based on a hallucination that will not go away, and that as a result makes it impossible for me to function in the "pedophile priest crime victim-survivor community" ... (Note to editor: Needs to be more intriguing, and find a better funnier name than SNARL)
No one else knew how big the pedophile priest problem was as far back as the 1980s, no one but the Roman Catholic bishops. They knew they had to do something to keep the crime victims from finding each other and comparing stories.
Aargh there it is again.
I'm reading this stuff in my email about the woman who founded SNARL getting an award yesterday from a Catholic pedophile priest victim support group.
This drives me mad, as I seem to be the only one who can see who these people really are.
I can see this when other peopld can't, because I am about the only person writing about the pedophile priest problem in the Catholic Church as a national issue. So I have been doing in depth researching and interviewing on the topic now for three years. Most of the time, I am the only journalist covering the hearings, often I'm even the only reporter at SNARL's local press conferences.
As a result no one else in the world is seeing what I'm seeing.
And I'm seeing it everywhere I look.
For example, the idea that there are lots of pedophiles in other churches, a powerful but untrue talking point of apologists, germinated from right in the middle of SNARL, when in around 2007, they started to put out stories and finding "survivors" from Baptist and fundamentalist churches, and synagogues. Then in 2008 SNARL was joining up with a national group determined to stop child sex abuse of all kids everywhere.
Diversionary tactics. Subtle, subterfugious diversionary tactics.
When I first started seeing it, I used to call up colleagues like a mad woman, saying, "Can't you see it?" But I'm calling persons who I met at SNARL conferences
None of them can see it.
Then they stop calling me back.
For example, the Church publicly tells us the PR firm they use is Sitrick. If anyone asks, even in court documents, the company is the Century City Los Angeles firm "Sitrick," who list the Archdioceses on their website on the "Our Clients" page.
The PR firm pulling off the counter espionage running SNARL is not named anywhere. It's all off the record, no paper or electronic trail.
Paid in cash.
Strange though how this morning (Nov. 21, 2009) was another demonstration of how they work. After I had just posted in this little fiction story, which I continue to write and edit online, that the counter espionage by the Church against survivors was created and run by a PR firm in LA, SNARL put out a press release naming Sitrick as the Law Firm the Delaware Diocese and others around the country.
The Church would never let the real information about their dirty tricks be made public like that. The Church wants you to believe they use the Sitrick PR Agency. Really this whole keep-down-the-victims project is being run on land line phones, postal mail, and in person conversations.
No electronic or paper trail. No corporate entity filing legal documents.
But you have to understand throughout, this post is all fiction, I can't get the hallucination out of my head. So I'm looking at it as a gift of imagination, and so writing the hallucination as fiction. Because I keep seeing collusion, infiltration, diversionary statements everywhere- when really there might be nothing there at all, it might all be my imagination.
The current project for the bishops with the help of SNARL is to focus on other religions. See, there was a pedophile at this church, look the synagogues are full of them.
SNARL comes out daily with press statements and events. But look closely, they are always AFTER a story has broken, through a lawsuit or through a story in a major newspaper, such the New York Times.
SNARL never holds a press event with news that hasn't already been released to the public in another way.
It looks like they are making an announcement, but look closer. After a story breaks, SNARL jumps on it, but in the end, they don't release any more than what is already in the news. Then to viewers, SNARL standing up repeating what is already in the news appears to be advocacy, release of new information. What SNARL is really doing, in backroom arrangements with the bishops, is allowing no more details than what has already been released to come out. SNARL makes it look like they are working for the survivors, promoting publication of new stories, when they are really keeping a lid closed down tight on any new information about sex crimes of priests.
After the press event in whatever city, SNARL packs up all the leads and responses from media and new victims, and goes back to its St. Louis headquarters.
The local victims are left, sometimes still standing where the press event took place, wondering what just happened.
Worse yet, after the SNARL media event, when new victims or reporters from that city call the 800 number, or email the person on the flyer, their queries don't get answered.
SNARL's work appears to the public to be advocacy, what they really are doing is keeping us, the victims, from finding each other.
In fact, if it had not been for the Internet, the victims of pedophile priests would have never found each other. The internet was a surprise to the bishops, they hadn't planned back in 1983 how to battle surivors over the internet, they didn't even envision such a democratic way of communication would be developed. If it were not for the internet, no one would know the extent of these crimes, that there are thousands of victims in the USA right now, that the Modus Operandi was too similar from archdiocese to archdiocese for the bishops not to have known about the epidemic of pedophiles in their churches.
When God created email, the bishops realized they needed stronger leadership in SNARL. They put the guy from St. Louis in as director, sent the woman founder to law school and had her start running the annual conference, as the guy from St. Louis took over.
I know this all seems unbelievable. For the Church to create a "survivor network for those abused" that is really an arm of the Church, the abuser, is truly sinister, I know. But look at who we are talking about ... Roman Catholic bishops who allowed children to get raped by their priests.
They stop at nothing to get what they need. And do whatever it takes to keep their secrets.
And what they knew they needed way back in the 1980s was a way to keep the survivors in a controlled space, and a way to keep the total story, of how many pedophiles there are among Catholic priests and why, as secret as possible.
God only knows how many victims walked away from SNARL, quit being an activist, and gave up on finding other survivors after those anticlimatic press events. I know personally about dozens who quit, changed their phone numbers, when you do find them they say I don't want to have anything to do with that whole issue anymore.
I often talk to victims and they say they've quit trying, too often for it not to be a planned result. And all I do is write one small blog, an old lady at home, with two other part time jobs.
People leave SNARL baffled and twisted, confused, because they have contacte an organization expecting support and a network and when they lean on that support, discover it's more like a hologram, letting them fall right through.
Then SNARL stands at more press events, local victims who've found them show up and get handed a sign, the sign says call our 800 number, then SNARL returns to St. Louis, and doesn't return the calls.
Who do you believe happened to get into my cab the other day, he says
The counter-espionage group SNARL masquerading as an advocacy group uses subtle techniques, sometimes back door, a lot of whispering, a lot of comments dropped that leave you wondering.
They email each other about me, I know, as sometimes one of the less professional ones screws up and accidently includes my name in the email, so stuff arrives in my mailbox, people writing about me... now knowing I'm reading it.
Another ploy is to say cutting remarks to a victim at vulnerable moments. They pull the victim aside first, or say it over the phone, so no one else hears it.
Then when I'm interviewing them later, I hear about it.
And it happens too often for it not to be a technique, an MO.
They don't leave behind evidence in emails, they never leave an electronic trails of the attacks, it only happens where it leaves no trail.
Emails sent to the victim at the time SNARL is in attack mode will be encouraging, strangely the opposite of what the crime victim is experiencing in person.
They target victims for elimination, the ones who don't stay quiet. Thanks to the internet, a few of us have found a way to get around the SNARL obstacles.
The regional leaders are not part of this subterfuge, but often are unwilling pawns. SNARL carefully selects and trains its regional leaders. They have to be "team players" which in other organizations means working together, everyone participating. In SNARL being a team player means you are willing to only do what SNARL tells them to do,
SNARL justifies this control. It's the Church, they say, you have to be careful and only say certain things or the Church will find out too much or the Church will possibly sue...
This control from above is counter intuitive, but so many regional people feel SOMETHING has to be done, and here are these people who are national leaders, they must know what's right...
SNARL then tells reporters, "Don't talk to the victims who show up at the press conference, as they are such damaged persons, and they don't always have the best mental health, you know what I mean."
The regional leaders are truly innocent pawns in this scheme, they think they're helping survivors by doing what SNARL says to do. It's only one maybe two people at the top in SNARL who really write the agenda. The regional leaders agree to only say what SNARL headquarters in St. Louis has approved them to say, so in the end the bishops really run the whole show.
All the press statements come from or are approved and edited in St. Louis.
If a regional leader says, Let's try this instead, the response from St. Louis is, "We don't do that."
Well who the hell is "we"?
What is so brilliant about this PR subterfuge counterespionage plot is, if any grass roots victim or advocate starts to notice something wrong, and they start trying to explain what they are seeing wrong, they end up looking jealous, vindictive, self serving, even clinically paranoid.
I have to do this. I have this sense that someone is going to come in the door and kill me any minute because I'm writing this. Easy to make it look like a burglary gone wrong or just about anything in this neighborhood.
I'm scared I'm going to be dead here in my East Hollywood apartment some morning, and all these documents will just not be in my apartment anymore.
A guy came by my house a few weeks back, with sweat pouring down his face, he stood in my door, said, "NO!" in a loud shout when I said, "Want to come in." Shaking, panting, he handed me this scruffy pile of papers, saying, Read this. They take in more than a half million dollars a year and they spend just less than half a million dollars a year, they say they spend exactly what they get each year, but Where does it go?"
I have to step back, he has white foam forming around his lips. He rises up almost becomes fuller and larger as he hollers:
"They put the money tight back into the church coffers. They take donation money from the plaintiffs after the lawsuit settlements and funnel it right back to the church. They've washed through a few million dollars already."
He hands me the stack of papers, a wad of stained wrinkled photocopies, then scampers down the hall and down the stairs and out of my eyesight before I can blink.
Hmm, these look like SNARL tax forms from 2004, 2005.
These papers, financial papers, I don't understand them. So back in Spring 2008 I called the guy in St. Louis who runs SNARL and tried to get him to explain where the money comes from and where it goes. He never answered, for six weeks of going back and forth by phone and email, he never answered, just kept sidestepping. He's the Director of the nonprofit yet he tells me he has no idea where the money comes from or where it goes? SNARL is a nonprofit "charity" registered in Illinois operating out of St. Louis.
They go through more than a half million dollars a year and there is almost nothing to show for it. Most of it is spent on "travel expenses."
FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS HERE
The rest will are scanned in at City of Angels 11 for you to read and decide what they say.
To be honest, I don't know if that's what these financial papers say. I have a brain that functions almost totally on the right side. I see numbers and they just blur in front of me, they don't have meaning. But it does seem like more than a million dollars came in over a two year period 2004-2005, and to be honest, there is not a million dollars worth of results to show for it.
When I tried to ask the Director of SNARL about finances in early 2007 he did a tap dance. I let these docs collect dust then for two years. Now I feel a real urge to get them up before it's too late. Like writing this in itself is putting my life in danger.
A lot of it is questionable. I don't know if this is smoking gun material or just more of my bizarre hallucination, seeing things that aren't really there. But I do know to go by hunches and compulsions now, after being dead and waking back up so many times. So here goes, some financial documents from SNARL where, to say the least, things don't add up.
By the time any donations came in from the 2007 L.A. settlements, SNARL had changed the password and codes that allowed people to view their financial papers at the Illinois government website that "monitors" non profits. I think that's where that person who handed me the crumpled stack of papers that produced these docs found them, as I went to the site in early 2008 and confirmed, these were the docs there.
But then a few weeks later the same password no longer got me into the Illinois Attorney General site where financial papers were posted.
So as far as I know, nobody really knows how much SNARL took in in 2007 and the following years.
Aren't nonprofits, who don't pay taxes because of their "charity work" (yeah right a charity) supposed to be transparent about their financial papers?
Look closely at the docs, money could be being laundered back into the Church. Imagine a group of bishops meeting in the 1980s adding that little twist, chuckling, "They will be so grateful to SNARL they will give huge parts of their settlements back to us by donating to SNARL. They won't even know they are really giving the money back to us." Then the bishops would all snarl in laughter.
Remember this is all just my hallucination being written down here as fiction, because otherwise it runs over and over in my head and drives me crazy.
Wonder if the Director of SNARL answers all journalists' queries about finances with the same tap dance, which after a few weeks causes the reporter to go away.
All part of the scheme plotted up in advance back in the 1980s by the bishops:
Another city, 1996, another madman at my door hands me this sheet of paper. At the time I was running a SNARL group in San Francisco, but it was different then.
This madman also stood at my door, handed me this paper, then scampered away. I didn't see anything significant about it, just a nonprofic incorporating paper. I set it aside. Then I ran across it while cleaning out a file cabinet a few weeks back, in fact it jumped up at me.
In case you wonder if SNARL is connected to the Catholic Church this is from their incorporating papers:
HERE IS THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT
(To see either item closer, click to enlarge)
SNARL works to keep survivors from connecting and creating a genuine network.
For example I have a friend who is a cab driver in one of the cities where SNARL has an office. He and I were comparing notes, getting real creative, and since his city is sort of close to mine, we were even planning a couple projects together. Neither of us was being secretive about the effort, I put a couple posts up at City of Angels about it, we were getting ideas, going places, growing.
Then I called one day and Rick says, “You'll never guess who got into my cab this afternoon.”
I said, Who.
“Big Bang Boom (Name redacted) of all people. I'm sitting in the square in line, she walks up out of the blue and gets in my cab.”
I know something is fishy here.
“Doesn't she have a car?”
I don't know, he says.
Two weeks later I call again and he’s evasive, but all of a sudden SNARL is working with him on projects, after they’d ignored his presence in the world for about six years. Two more weeks later I called him and he said to me something very strange.
He said, “Yeah I don't know about those projects. We've been doing something here together now as a group for a lot of years, and we don’t really need someone from the outside coming in with a lot of disruptive ideas and shaking the boat. We've got something going here and we don't want to change it.”
Something like that. The end result was Roger and I never followed up on our plans.
I don't know if they ever finished whatever Bing Bang Bong convinced him they had been doing together for six years.
Too bad I didn't get a settlement from the Chicago Archdiocese. I'd be floating on the ocean on a cruise ship right now if I had. Instead I'm in a little room in East Hollywood writing this.
Remember, this all could just be my paranoid delusion, seeing patterns that aren't really there, imagining plots and schemes where they don't exist. But I have to write these delusions down or they will drive me crazy running through my head.
There’s another strange pattern. Since I am about the only journalist covering the pedophile priest sex crime issue in the Catholic Church on a national level, all the time, I end up calling around the country trying to track down people to interview to get the right information.
I call someone from the SNARL website, they're friendly helpful, assure me they will call back. Then they don't. I call again and they don't call back. This has even happened when the person I called assured me he was an alcohol and drug rehab counselor and he knows how bad it feels when someone says they'll call back and they don’t. Then he didn't call me back either.
The only explanation is that someone told them not to talk to me. And that makes no sense, if SNARL is really an organization dedicated to getting out the truth about pedophile priest sex crimes, I'm the person people need to talk to, as I’ll put everything they want published out there on the internet through my blog.
Instead someone is telling the SNARL representatives not to talk to me, not to return my calls.
I no longer take it personally, now it’s just something I observe, with a wan smile.
They've stopped returning my calls.
Everyone thinks SNARL is this wonderful support organization that has kept the crime victims from tanking and self destructing, when sometimes the result of a victim's interactions with SNARL are tanking and self destructing. SNARL does it in a way that nobody else can see.
I've seen the pattern from this unique position I hold, writing about pedophile priests from a national level, in spite of everything SNARL did to keep me from following up from the time I was developing the first article.
SNARL has carried out this wily PR production, started in the 1980s, where they can convince the public the group came together from the grass roots, it formed from the bottom up, one woman's diligent efforts to create a way for the pedophile priest crime victims to find each other.
But I know that SNARL is really counter espionage, set up by the bishops back in the early 1980s, to give the appearance of being a support network for survivors, when in actuality SNARL's real purpose is to keep survivors as far away from each other as possible.
We are all, in our separate cities, walking around wondering, now, nine years after this story first broke and then burst in Boston, why isn't the mainstream knowledgeable? How come this story did not get out?
The persons who say they are getting the message out are really stifling it. Repeating the same words to reporters they were saying eight years ago, responding to news, not making it.
Separately, individually, isolated still, the victims in cities around the country wonder why this story hasn't broken harder mainstream.
It hasn't broken any more than the church has been forced to release to the public, nothing more.
In Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and all over Southern California, the crime victims wonder, why the story has not come out, and who are the other victims in their area to network with.
SNARL keeps the names of the others in the region secret from each other.
"Survivors want to keep their identities secret, so we never share names among survivors," says the guy in St. Louis.
Yeah? Then why were they calling you, a network, for help?
The guy in St. Louis decides what gets said and by whom at SNARL press events.
Remember, this could all just be my paranoid delusion written as fiction almost as therapy for me.
In 1980 the bishops knew the story about all the pedophiles in the priesthood was going to break public and break big soon. They hired PR consultants, and came up with a plan to keep the crime victims under control, a way to herd them like sheep, control everything they said to the media, even keep their mouths shut in fear of ruining a civil lawsuit.
The bishops could use this group to appear in public calling themselves advocates for victims. The only phone number they'd give to the press was their own. Then after each press event, they'd pack up and go back to St. Louis, and the actual structure of a support group or local lobbying efforts would fall apart and leave with them.
Then no one returns the calls that result from that press event. And no one tells the other survivors who was there or how to reach them or even if they ever called.
Then they make public statements that appear to be ground breaking, unless you look closely, for example this from that same conference where SNARL got its award last week:
"Whether a pedophile priest is hetero or homosexual is not the problem. It's the culture of sexual secrecy that causes priests to do secret sexual things. If the bishops and pope say all sex by priests is wrong - dating, masturbation, porn, everything is wrong - then priests will have sexual secrets. Then other priests hold those sexual secrets over their heads as blackmail, and pedophiles don't get reported."
Great! Nice to hear someone in leadership say that, right?
But when you look closely, you see, SNARL never really says anything that has never been said before.
In this case, it’s the same thing advocates on the pedophile priest issue been saying since 1995 at least.
A nice statement, but no earth got shattered.
So the public thinks there is a support organization, indeed even the victims think there is a support organization and forgive the SNARL leaders' mistakes because after all "They are victims too."
I'm the only one who can see that the same mistakes are made over and over again in city after city.
I think that in reality SNARL is run by a religious order, I suspect it's the Paracletes, whose very roots are in the sex crimes of Catholic priests, founded as an order that would serve "troubled priests" back in 1949, when they founded the first treatment center for pedophile priests in New Mexico. The Paracletes headquarters today is in St. Louis.
When I'm interviewing people for City of Angels, the stories they tell me only happen in their one region, so they don't realize like I do, that the strange treatment of victims by SNARL is a pattern of distortion of truth that is happening in every city.
This paranoid delusion, hallucination that storms my brain daily
SNARL press statement appear to be coming from the crime victims, but they are actually written and approved by this group in St. Louis that masquerades as a support group but is really run by the Church.
A Brilliant PR scheme, you gotta hand it to them. I'm pretty sure the PR agency that cooked up this plan for the bishops in the 1980s is _______ in Century City, California.
That firms lists the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese as onen of their clients. Considering that consultants can do stuff under a PR corporate umbrella and leave no paper or money trail. There is no real accountability in PR, fees can be paid in cash.
2nd EDIT DONE TO HERE:
So I'm trying to keep my blood pressure down as I read in the news today about the SNARL founders getting another award, plus this group is making a nationwide pitch for donations, so right now as we sit here at our computers, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of dollars are being transfered electronically from bank accounts all over the world into the SNARL coffers.
People donate to them thinking they do all this wonderful work for the crime victims, and yet I keep hearing these horror stories. Privately. Off the record.
In the media this morning is a speech where they list everything SNARL has done.
But I read and the speech also says, "Still the problem of pedophiles in the priesthood continues to be with us today," and she citing three priests arrested with child porn on their computers in the last three months alone. Just this morning first story I read when I got to Abuse Tracker was about a church right there in Chicago where SNARL has its main offices, well its mailing address.
In Chicago just last week yet another pedophile priest has been charged and removed while there's an investigation. His parishioners adore him like robots and are coming out in huge numbers to support him saying, "this priest is like my father."
It's all over the Chicago news this morning. When the parishioners pour out for their priest it gets real press.
Parishioners in this Chicago church are mad at the plaintiffs.
There’s a quote from a woman saying, “Why did they wait so long? I don't believe what those so-called victims are saying about Father Pervert.”
Chicago where SNARL has its headquarters has one of the worst records of all for dealing with the pedophile priest problem.
I'm sitting here still totally isolated in L.A. after years of trying to find other survivors, a journey that began when I read about SNARL in a magazine at the Catholic Charities office where I was going to go for therapy. Right after the recovered memory poured in, I thought I'd do better talking to a psychologist about it, and my insurance sent me to them, they were the only social service agency there was in Eureka, California. That's where we lived when Lizzie turned five and I would look at her and see myself at age five, and it's all textbook from there. Classic recovered memory of childhood trauma.
I don't know all this from going to therapy. In truth I stole the magazine and never even went to the appointment, instead went home, had a yard sale to raise cash, and moved me and my daughter to the SF Bay Area, because the magazine had that article that told me SNARL had a branch in the SF Bay Area.
I probably should have seen the therapist. But I thought for sure, right there in teh Catholic Charities mental health waiting room, that this was angelic intervention. I had to go right away to the Bay Area and join up with SNARL.
It's now 15 years later.
I know there are other surivors somewhere in or near Los Angeles, as 510 plaintiffs got settlements in 2007 from the L.A. Archdiocese.
SNARL had a full time paid rep keeping the crime victims "organized" during the years long legal battle.
I went to as many of the SNARL events they had, trying to connect with other victims.
Yet I still don’t have a friend in the world. The couple people I met through SNARL here have disappeared.
My experience locally with SNARL left my self esteem in the gutter, only thing that revived me was talking to other crime victims who I found in spite of SNARL and finding out a lot of the crime victims ended up feeling like unwanted trash in the mud after their dealings with SNARL.
It's a "go away” approach to advocacy, that leaves the victim feeling strangely re-victimized,
Victims all over the country tell me they feel the same way after dealing with SNARL: cut off, left out, even snubbed.
My own work feeds the hallucination
Stories I hear over and over, "They held a press event and didn't tell anyone." "SNARL returns phone calls." And worse: "They pulled me to the side and said... (here then is something very geared for that one person, whispered off to the side, that demolishes their self confidence.)
The end result is the comment I hear so often: "After that experience with SNARL, I decided to quit being an activist at all."
Exactly what the bishops wanted when they set this all up in the 1980s.
The PR scheme also led to their leaders getting awards regularly for the great job they're doing for the crime victims. Because none of the damage control and activist elimination happens where the public can see it.
SNARL stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Reverends and Laymen
Yet among the victims there really is no network. When a person runs a local SNARL group, they never see the list of members in their region, they never write the final version of a press statement. All that data and "creative" work is done in St. Louis. A leader who does not stick to the script does not remain a leader for very long.
Locally, you rarely find out the results of these press events. No one finds out how to get in touch with other survivors locally through SNARL.
As a result thousands of crime victims of pedophile priests around the country are all still very disconnected.
It was designed for us to end up this way: disjoined, confused about what happened, still isolated.
(1st Edit done to here)
In the 1980s and early 90s there was another group for the victims that was a lot like SNARL, it started about the same time, and had no connections to the Church. Except its founder was a priest. He died mysteriously, and after he died, family members who no one had ever seen before wondered if they were even real members of his family. They arrived before the funeral, took out the group's phones, packed up all the files, and stopped returning mail. No one was there to answer the phones, and before long the reporters and crime victims stopped calling. (It was still pre-email era).
So the other more grassroots group for survivors was taken care of, gotten out of the way early.
SNARL emerged and grew.
Most amazing to me is that in L.A. where there was the only full time paid SNARL leader in the country in 2006-2007, when there were more than a thousand plaintiffs who settled with the church in Orange, San Diego, Riverside, as well as Los Angeles Counties-
There is now virtually Nothing Left of SNARL. No meetings (unless they are secret ones, which is not very network-y), no lobbying effort, no organizing or planning sessions for activism, no core group to form a steering committee.
Just people who have stopped calling each other.
With all those plaintiffs in L.A. last few years, and a full time paid SNARL person corralling them around town leading press events, holding regular meetings, why didn't they set up something permanent? Why did the group instead disperse and totally fall apart, here in L.A. where there was the only full time paid SNARL leader working to create the SNARL network for those thousand plaintiffs?
It doesn't add up, unless turmoil and dissolution was on the agenda to begin with.
If turmoil was the purpose of having a full time paid person running SNARL in L.A., it worked, it succeeded.
There is no network of survivors left from all that effort in L.A. two years ago.
It doesn't make sense. Unless it was designed and set up to fail, then it succeeded.
I wasn't part of the L.A. plaintiffs, my stuff happened in Illinois. But I live in L.A.
For one solid year 2006 I emailed the local So Cal rep for SNARL and said, let’s do this, I’d like to organize this, I really want to do this. I never got a word of encouragement, instead I got emails back saying, no, that's not a good idea, and I don't think so, and you're wrong that's not what that article says, things that made no sense at all. But I persisted and finally almost got them to agree to let me start a meeting in Hollywood but then the person running California SNARL at the time pulled me aside at a courthouse gathering to whisper to me, 'Kay, we think you're too sick to run a SNARL group. You wouldn't believe how much time it takes and you're just not healthy enough.'
Thinking these people knew what they were doing I nodded. She and I had our heads bowed together off to the side, I walked back to the group, kept my head bowed, suddenly noticed how much I really am not healthy, and convinced myself I was too sick to do much of anything for the next six months or so.
I revived and again started asking SNARL to start a group in Hollywood, if I can't run it, I'll help someone else run it, I found someone willing to work with me on organizing a Hollywood group
and well …
Got shot down again by the local paid leader, only this time much harder.
I felt like, Someone is telling her to do this to me, it doesn't match her personality to be this mean.
I started City of Angels blog in January 2007 in a state of reaction and anger, staying up three days in a row with no sleep writing City of Angels 1, feeling, well if I can't do anything through SNARL, I'll have to do something on my own.
And I'm still totally on my own.
One guy who I did befriend through the few SNARL events there were in L.A. in 2006 told me he got the word from other people in SNARL not to trust me. He said it was because I showed up at the courthouse for Michael Baker hearings with a note pad writing things down. Every now and then in 2006 there would be a hearing in criminal courts and a notice would go out by email that SNARL members were encouraged to come and support the victims of Michael Baker.
At these events, we’d sit in the courtroom for hours. The only time for a possible conversation was if you happened to be in the hall going for coffee or to the john at the same time as someone else from the SNARL group.
But you weren't even sure which ones were the people from the SNARL group, so opening up a conversation was awkward.
In the courtroom, there would be three rows or so of people surrounding the California full time paid SNARL leader, but in the end I didn't meet any of them. You’d barely get to know the person sitting next to you, as if you even whispered, these intimidating court officers would glare at you and threaten your removal.
Okay, so defrocked pedophile priest Michael Baker comes out with his orange jumpsuit, we get glimpses of him back behind the jailhouse blockade. He comes out of the holding area about five feet into the room and talks to the judge off mic, and even on mic you can’t hear them. The attorneys judge and pedophile priest exchange two or three words, agree on a date for him to appear again, usually months later, and that would be it.
For this we sit for three hours as a group silently waiting. The notice would go out from SNARL saying it starts any time after 8 AM that morning so get there early, and since it's the closest I've seen to a SNARL support group meeting that I need so much, I'm there before eight and when the court opens, the group goes in, sits in the courtroom.
And we don't talk to each other.
The Michael Baker hearing goes on finally at 11:15 and we've all sat there for three hours to "support the victims of Baker," but I still don't even know which persons in our group are the victims of Baker.
I have PTSD and can’t let my mind be empty, plus I’ve always been a writer even when I haven't been publishing like from 1994 to 2005.
So of course coming to criminal courts I have a yellow legal pad in my bag. Sitting there at this event with no one to talk to, I get out the yellow pad and start writing, writing everything I see, describing the people around me, the attorneys, the cops. Wonder where those notes are today? They're from 2006, and my home is full of little places where I’ve stashed notebooks and pens, meaning to get back to them and then well. . .
(It’s fun to find these notepads here and there around the house and start reading them two or three years later when they emerge. I’ve yet to come across my notes from those Michael Baker criminal court hearings.)
When the "hearing" or "appearance" was over there would be a press conference and the one or two people who were always the core of the SNARL group would answer questions. I’d stand there like a geek, no one introduced me to anyone. Then it would be over and everyone would disperse and that was SNARL in Los Angeles in 2006.
Okay back to my yellow pad.
We're at criminal court, the SNARL gathering where I’ve come hoping to meet people but instead we're sitting in a courtroom and no one can talk. I pull out my yellow pad and start writing down everything I see thinking I'm going to type it all into a story afterwards.
Then two years later, I'm talking to the one person I met locally in SNARL, and he tells me, “Yeah several people from SNARL said, don't trust anyone who shows up and starts writing things down.”
Don't trust people who start writing things down? If I were a spy, would I pull out a yellow pad and openly start taking notes?
Plus this is L.A. Everyone thinks they have a screenplay inside them.
I'm perplexed by his remark.
I ask my friend more, trying to pinpoint if he heard someone from SNARL say not to trust writers before I showed up with my yellow pad or after, but he doesn't know for sure.
He does say, "I do remember someone said something about a woman from Hollywood with a yellow pad."
Another person tells me, "Yeah SNARL said don't talk to that crazy woman in Hollywood."
I begin to confirm it, it's not just paranoia, I've been singled out.
His comment did help explain why even during courtroom breaks when we’d be out in the hallway, no one would connect their eyes with me.
Or it all could just be your plain old Catholic priest crime victim inevitable paranoia and distrust of everyone.
Those hearings about Michael Baker were the last of SNARL in L.A. There are no support group meetings that I know of. Occasionally they throw a press conference and people from SNARL Orange County and Headquarters in St. Louis show up, (the nonprofit is incorporated in Illinois run out of St. Louis) but I'm the only L.A. resident at L.A. SNARL events today.
So I'm sitting here trying to just accept that my life is so isolated while finding another way to solve the problem. Every effort I made to find other survivors here in L.A. was a diffused bomb, never worked, and I was so immersed in the effort that my civilian friends stopped calling me, got tired of hearing about pedophile priests and conspiracies and, I think, got scared of how angry I could get.
Also we've moved from a chi-chi part of town in 2003 to this Midnight Cowboy designed by Ratso Rizzo thousand dollar a month squat in a not too good part of town, a neighborhood I myself would never drive into before the turn of the century (before homelessness from 2003-2005) and I truly believe most people just don't want to be around someone who is so blatantly poor, especially when they've just been awarded a million dollars from a settlement for a crime similar to what put me in these circumstances to begin with.
It's just ... awkward.
I can't help thinking that was part of the bishops' plan from the very beginning when they first started meeting on the issue of pedophile priests back in the early 1980s:
The bishops decided: See to it that some victims get settlements and some don't.
What better way to divide a group than to put them on total opposite ends of the economic spectrum? The crime victims will not mix together, will not run in the same circles, will not even end up living near each other.
And there will always be a level of distrust, those who get settlements immediately suspect those who did not get settlements will ask them for money. Those who shared in a global settlement don't want the others in their globe to know how much or how little they got.
So civil lawsuits themselves have encouraged the opposite of networking in the pedophile priest crime victim community.
I know for a fact that SNARL advised people in the L.A. 2007 settlements to watch out for people suddenly showing up in their lives asking for money.
Maybe people thought that's what I was?
The way the L.A. plaintiffs all stopped returning my calls and emails in late 2007, I can't help but think someone told them to stay away from me. The sudden snub just happened so ... globally.
The end result of civil lawsuits across the country is a population of crime victims who don't want to communicate with each other.
If I'd been raped at age five in California as a kid by a pedophile priest, I'd have a condo now. I'd have been part of the 2007 L.A. settlement. Since I was raped by a pedophile priest in Chicago, I was thrown out into the wind and left to stay resource free in inner city L.A.
The Catholic Church in Chicago ignored my pleas for help.
Because they can. Illinois law has been run by criminals for so many decades, the Church thrives on that state's back door protocols.
I imagine an advantage for a non profit incorporating in Illinois is all they can get away with, since there is little or no oversight ...
That one guy who did befriend me from L.A. SNARL - once he made it clear to me he would give me no money from his settlement even though I never asked him for any - did not last long as a friend. He ended up being so hostile to females with so many anger management issues, I couldn't take the verbal batterings anymore.
Now I sometimes wonder if he was an infiltrator from the church too. I too now suspect everyone of being an undercover agent for the church at this point.
Don't trust anyone.
So today I'm watching the woman who founded SNARL get an award. I read in my emails the devotional speeches and announcements being made last weekend, as she and SNARL are being credited with the great work they've done, and truly, from the outside, it does look like great work.
And obviously other people have had much better experiences with the support organization than I have. I felt I was not welcome from the moment I got there, and that last attack right after the 2006 Christmas holidays was an extremely painful experience. If my daughter and the few people I'd met over the internet hadn't been here holding me down there in early January 2007 when the weird attack happened, I could have self destructed, it was such a bad experience.
I would have let it go and left it in the pat, if I hadn't heard similar stories from survivors around the country.
I also know saying anything bad about this organization or its founders makes you about as popular as the first crime victims in archdiocese offices when they came forward in the eighties and nineties with tales of what they endured at the hands of pedophile priests.
And the world still has not truly gotten the total message about the epidemic of pedophilia in the Catholic priesthood, the organization that enabled it, who the victims are, and what the serial felonies did to us, in spite of charges, prosecutions, and lawsuits in just about every archdiocese or every city in the country the past twenty years.
It was a story that should have flamed across the country.
Instead it just fizzled, controlled, mummed.
A story of thousands of pedophiles in the Catholic Church raping tens of thousands of children broke nationwide in city after city since Boston in 2002- no, since New Orleans in the mid-1990s, then Dallas, then Boston, then we realized it was a national problem. Still today your average joe in the Catholic pew or outside on a bus bench does not know the true details, most people still think it was a few priests and a bit of inappropriate touching, not the systemwide organized criminal operation that it was.
That Chicago parishioner in the news this morning questioned loudly, why does it take these child molestation victims decades to come forward. She is suspicious of the victims because "They waited so long." In this one case the victims waited twenty years, they were twelve when it happened to them. Now it's 2009 and they're in their thirties and finally coming out about it.
Not to mention the extra brain fry you get when it's a Catholic priest who raped you as a child.
Everything I'm thinking about Catholic hierarchy conspiracy and damage control disguised as victim advocacy could just be paranoid delusions.
I'm still all alone in Hollywood trying to figure out a way to re-assimilate now after this four-year-long bizarre experience of trying to connect with other victims, trying to get justice for myself, getting almost no help at all, having my case thrown out of court with no fanfare or even a phone call from anyone saying, too bad, Kay, can I take you out for a drink. Now I'm alone most of the time, with a 21 year old daughter still very dependent on me as I become more dependent on her, still trying to find a way I can pull us up, and it's scary, as we live right on the border of the slums of L.A.
From here we go one way or the other. And I'm entirely on my own, no support, no network, barely surviving, yet there were 510 plaintiffs in the L.A. cases in 2007.
Where did everybody go?
After all that happened here in 2007, you'd think there would be an office, an active lobbying effort, something left over and still going on around pedophile priest issues in L.A.
Back to 2006.
While we were sitting in criminal courts watching nothing happen all those mornings waiting for a Michael Baker appearance, I later found out that right around the corner in Superior Court, a flurry of pretrial hearings was taking place about the 600 plus cases from Southern California heading for "trial." I started going as a reporter in January 2007, for City of Angels- on my own.
No one from SNARL told me about the civil hearings going on in Superior Court, I had to find them on my own.
SNARL told me there was nothing going on with the civil lawsuits in 2006.
I called SNARL to ask as a journalist as well as a survivor and they told me there was nothing going on, when actually there were two or three hearings a week in Superior Court taking place.
Doesn't anyone else find that strange?
I guess the "support network" has done a good job in the news media, as most reporters around the country today seem to know the truth about Catholic priest sex crimes and how the bishops covered them up and shot down the victims.
Still, the church hierarchy really got away with most of their crimes. Look at it realistically.
SNARL has never linked or mentioned one of the City of Angels breaking news reports at the SNARL website. SNARL never mentions City of Angels anywhere. I'm one of the survivors and I've started this thing completely on my own.
Wouldn't a support organization respond to me with a little more ... support?
I mean, look at what I’ve done with City of Angels. Why wasn’t I embraced when I first came to SNARL wanting to start a group or organize a project? Look at City of Angels, then imagine what I could have done with SNARL in L.A., compared to what we have here now.
Which is nothing.
Or SNARL could be holding meetings and just not letting me know where they are.
This could all be my paranoid delusions.
Things just don't add up. I’ve wondered for a long time what it is, and my paranoid mind has created duplicitous plots and schemes that it would take an organization like the CIA to carry out, as these ideas in my head are so subterfugious.
A scheme like the one my paranoid mind has created would involve intelligence, the group would have to have known how bad the pedophile priest problem was way back as far as the 1980s. Then to keep this story down, it would take a group like the CIA or the FBI or -
The Catholic Church -
Something that large, to be able to have pulled off any kind of planned espionage, planned effort, to prevent the whole story about the pedophiles in the Catholic Church from coming out any more than it absolutely has to.
No one else knew how big the pedophile priest problem was as far back as the 1980s but the Roman Catholic bishops, and they had to do something to keep the crime victims from finding each other and comparing notes.
The woman who got the award this weekend formed SNARL in 1988, coming from roots in Catholic social justice organizations in Chicago, I guess including 8th Day Center for Justice, which as the document above scanned in above shows, initially incorporated SNARL.
Then around 1990, maybe with the advent of the internet, they could see that the national support group that would herd around the survivors in the next decades would need a new director.
In St. Louis, 1993, another priest is going into inpatient rehab for pedophilia at the Servants of the Paracletes center in the suburbs. At the same time, the priest's brother is being named the new director of SNARL.
The INTERNET was the one thing the bishops did not prepare for in advance in the 1980s, when they planned their strategy on how to handle the crime victims of their thousands of pedophile priests.
They didn't know the Internet would be created and interfere with their plans
Post Script: I did post online some of the notes from the Michael Baker hearings in 2006 at the SNARL message board, which you reach through a link at the SNARL website that says "Online Support." For one solid year 2006 I posted at the message board, and found seven or eight other people around the country. We were just starting to get things going, starting to come up with national ideas for action, and then SABOTAGE, in a way that no one really can explain, the message board just crashed, stopped working. The person in charge left in an emotional spiral from the experience, and no new moderator was ever found. I volunteered to do the job numerous times, no one answered me. Posts from Chicago have not shown in public on the board since 2007. New members have trouble joining. It's impossible to make any headway there. The SNARL message board came to an end just as it was becoming an effective way for survivors to find each other, when I got active there in 2006 and we started coming up with ideas of our own.
It's called Survivors Network, yet they do not encourage networking
It would not have taken a lot of intelligence for anyone to find out in 2006 that I had been employed by NASA Public Affairs in the 1980s and drilled as a JO3 at Naval Air Station New Orleans around the same time.
Intelligence is a major mission of that Naval Air Reserve base.
Finding out my background might explain the way SNARL responded to me when I arrived in 2006, when you'd think they'd welcome a person with my experience.
I've learned: Don't Trust Anyone
I get my support by watching V episodes at ABC online...
Don't Trust Anyone
An example of Damage Control versus true advocacy:
I released the paracletes papers
In June 2008
SNARL ignored it.
Then in 2009 the same woman who leaked those documents to me leaked them to the New York Times, who wrote total coverage stories about The Servants of the Paracletes revealing the very same documents.
SNARL ran press events and made announcements about the Paracletes docs released that week by the New York Times.
Is that empowering a victim? Is that giving a victim a voice?
They ignored the Paracletes story when I published the same documents, but of course my City of Angels blog is just one small voice, no national structure behind me, no network, no support organization, no budget.
Just me. No ties, no agenda.
Never acknowledged by the national organization that thrives on its reputation of supporting and giving voice to the crime victims.
I find it all very strange ...
As I posted this, I realized.
No more daydreams about going to the next SNARL conference ... oh well... it was never as it seemed, in fact the annual SNARL conference is another example of what should be an opportunity for networking that instead is people sitting captive as an audience listening, for three whole days.
It's never what it appears to be, there is no normal anymore, don't trust anyone...
NOVEMBER 24, 2009
To see what I mean, that SNARL really does NOT give voice to survivors, or lift them up, or support us in any way other than in the news media: I broke the story at City of Angels Last Week about a victim in Sts. Simon and Jude Church trying to report pedophilia being steered to the Confessional to keep it penitent.
Today this morning SNARL calls a press event to leaflet about Gus Krumm, but linking reporters who get the press release to an article by a guy at OC Weekly. I broke the story, I'm a struggling survivor, the kind SNARL is supposed to care about, yet they don't even acknowledge City of Angels broke the story of Krumm and the 1st Amendment ploys of the Franciscans.
Don't even mention the blog by an active survivor right here in L.A.
I'm sitting here trying not to be hurt or angry as I watch the press announcements going out without mentioning me, the source of the information. Now someone from SNARL will stand up in front of the cameras and say the news that I broke last week and not even mention City of Angels and all the local in Los Angeles work I'm doing. The press statement will be approved by St. Louis before she reads it.
I do however have a little recompense. At 7:20 AM SNARL sent out a press announcement about their event at 10 AM and then 20 minutes later sent out the correction, a different address, on the other side of town. So once again reporters and advocates are driving around now trying to figure out which address is the right one, a mistake that happens 3 out of 4 times on SNARL press releases.
Why did SNARL hold a press event and link to the OC Weekly for the story, when the story really broke, in depth, in a blog written by a Survivor, me. Here is the breaking story about Gus Krumm written by me yesterday, after breaking the story in an Extra the previous Thursday (But I was too busy on my other two jobs to be able to write the whole story).
And here is the announcement SNARL sent out the day after City of Angels put up the in depth story about Gus Krumm. SNARL instead links people to Gustavo at the OC Register, who wrote 3 paragraphs on the topic. SNARL never mentioned that a very vocal and articulate member of this crime victims "community" covered the story in depth, here is how to contact her. Here it is in their own words, the opposite of support or networking for victims:
Members of SNARL and supporters will be having a media event today. If you can make it, please email NAME & ADDRESS REDACTED hope to see you there in support of the victims of Fr. Gus Krumm.
Outside the Orange County Catholic Diocese Headquarters2811 East Villa Real Drive (at Nohl Ranch) in Orange
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10 am
Gustavo Arrellano's Column (at OC Weekly)
The SNARL website says they "give voice to victims" yet in their release, they link to the OC Register instead of a story written by a victim. They don't acknowledge the days of work that went into doing that story, by me, a victim, about Gus Krumm.
Come to think of it, if SNARL was really a national support network, I'd be thriving right now, I shouldn't have to do two part time jobs to support City of Angels. There are things wrong here on so many levels in so many different ways...
I think this stopped being fiction a while back...
SNARL announces a press event using the material in my story, and do not even attribute me. Or mention City of Angels anywhere.
It leaves a survivor on the ground, perplexed,
It makes you end up wondering...
SNARL is a sheer wall of support that is really a hologram that lets the victims fall through to the ground while appearing to outsiders to be a solid support. It's a lot like the holograms on V on ABC on Tuesday nights... a lot like that...
The end result is the network of support is not really there. Though everyone thinks they see it from the outside, in the middle of it, there really is no network, and no support.
And Anna bares more than a little resemblance to the founder of SNARL.
Remember this is all a hallucination... isn't it?
See it all makes sense.
If you find yourself at the end of a SNARL event saying, this doesn't add up, something is wrong here, try looking at it from a different perspective. Say SNARL is really an arm of the Church. All of a sudden, everything they do makes sense. It falls together like a dragon's tail landing on Earth.
This is really all just a hallucination, that's why I have to post it here at 2 under Fiction, it has to be, no one could be that evil.
BLANCHE wanted so much to be a nun, except for the celibacy. She revered the church so she studied social work, then labored long hours for almost no pay in a Chicago Archdiocese charity, still acting out, though with a confused reverence for her religion and the men who deliver it. In that environment it wasn't long before she alligned her sex acts with a priest when she was a pre-teenaged girl to her current confusion about sexuality and religion. She went to a bishop she knew from her job, it was the early 1990s. She interviewed with several other bishops, then they offered her this opportunity, to work for social justice and still protect the good of the Church, by running a support organization for others who were molested by Catholic priests as children.
SNARL was born.
But then in 1993, the bishops could no longer keep the message under control. Because of this new thing out of California, the internet, the crime victims are still finding each other, especially in San Francisco. One of the crime victim priests had started, in true grass roots form, a network for survivors and it was using the internet, making savvy use of the news media.
"We gotta put someone stronger in there." "Yeah but she'll still want to run things." "Send her to law school, keep her busy."
San Francisco SNARL meeting participants were stunned and surprised when an announcement went out that Darren Clockwork is the new president of SNARL. "Who is he?" was the word most persons spoke at his sudden appearance.
Then one by one each member of the San Francisco SNARL meetings had disrupting events in their home or work lives that made it impossible for them to continue to do advocacy work.
And the young priest who was running the grass roots group suddenly became ill and died.
Meanwhile Blanche went on to earn two PhDs on top of her law degree. (Never did pass the bar exam, but in her work, she did not have to litigate.) She studied theology. She channeled her confused sexual-religious ideas into a new level of strength. Her body stayed perfect, her skin stayed young and thin.
When she made a press appearance, this combination of talents played out as a hypnotic charisma.
Much like Anna, her face shining down on the "survivor community" SNARL created, Blanche has a stunning hypnotizing effect on the group.
An element critical from the very beginning of the bishops' plan. Since most these crime victims are Catholics, the victims want a messiah like figure they can look up to.
Blanche fits the role perfectly. She speaks and all the crime victims get stunned, then compliant.