A School for Scandal

Watching Democracy Now just a few minutes ago I learned that Barbara Blaine of SNAP has put in an appearance at the current ongoing UN conference of torture in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms. Blaine is the founder of the organization SNAP which is an acronym for Survivors Network Against Priest Abuse. I met about two years ago with a local representative of SNAP to detail to him my own experiences of abuse at the hands of the Catholic clergy while a student from September 1964 to June 1965.

The name of the high school was Camden Catholic High School located on Cuthbert Blvd. in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This was only the first or second year at the new location for the flagship high school of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey. The old building that two of my mother’s younger sisters attended was located in the city of Camden rather than the flashy new and very cool Cherry Hill. It was a life changing event for me to have to board a big yellow school bus and ride from Collingswood to Cherry Hill when I could have easily walked to my own hometown high school that I eventually transferred to after one year at Camden Catholic.

I guess the greatest shock of all was being beaten by the priests of the diocese that staffed the school on an almost daily basis for reasons as simple as the misbehavior of one particular boy that in turn gave the classroom teacher/priest the justification to administer a beating one by one to the entire class. The way it was done was that the boys one by one walked to the front of the room where they were told to bend over so as to expose their backside to the priest who then commenced lashing you with a long wooden rod about an inch in diameter and about the length of a yardstick. This was not just some sort of a perfunctory smack on the backside but something that these demons wound up for like a baseball pitcher on the mound and delivered with such a shocking effect that the sound of its landing would have been heard well into the hallway which was why all classroom doors were ordered shut.

Just one lash from this rod delivered in such a manner bought on such a rush of pain that I had never experienced before and hardly thought was possible. The blow landed with such intensity that it went right to your brain and you could feel it travel right up you spinal column. A half a dozen of these to a dozen would be pretty much just normal on any particular day although it was not uncommon to have to suffer the brunt of thirty of these sadistic lashings and I saw one boy beaten 100 times. I will never ever forget this and I can never ever forgive a society such as ours that has freely chosen to completely ignore as if it never happened this systematic war against boys and young men in this nation as it makes celebrities out of outfits such as SNAP that have functioned as well engineered aspects of this denial merely because the abuse was not sexual abuse.

As a child I had been diagnosed with ADHD and been put on medication in grammar school. The resultant disruption of my high energy personality had morphed into a shy withdrawn and self conscious teen. Information regarding my particular medical situation should have been available to these troglodytes but that would have hardly mattered as they wouldn’t have given a dead rat’s ass about anything that they assumed stood in the way of their god given right to inflict pain, suffering, and humiliation on mere boys. That however, as we all know is the American way! Boys had to be beaten half to death into manhood. That’s the way that it was done. perhaps more to the point, this was my private window into that horrid institution of the Roman church called the Inquisition.

As I wrote about in a previous posting entitled “A Concentration Camp for Boys” the situation at the Arthur C. Dozier School for Boys in Mariana Florida was much different. There the boys were beaten to death and their young bodies dumped into incinerators, swamps, or into hastily dug graves on the school ground itself. Today the University of South Florida under the guidance of one of the school’s forensic anthropologists has been given the right to excavate the site so as to have a proper accounting for the boys that were buried on site there.

Never once did any word of this come from the mouth of Ms. Barbara Blaine in her debut at the UN’s Geneva headquarters regarding such actual true life attrocites and incidents of torture. SNAP does not consider what these boys had to endure as “abuse” because as I said in an e-mail to the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York- “it does not fit the contemporary feminist narrative.”

In other worlds our lives and the lives of so many boys who suffered such humiliating and painful abuse that left them scarred for life-that is those of us who survived; our lives and our story doesn’t matter because it was not sexual abuse the only kind of abuse that SNAP considers as abuse.

There is indeed a definite political motive involved with all of this and it can best be summed up this way: 90% of all the abuse that takes place in America is physical abuse and of that 90% of it is committed against boys. 10% of all child abuse in America is sexual abuse and of that 90% takes place against girls. So on the basis of these statistics one can see that 90% of the abuse that takes place is something that groups such as SNAP have no interest in considering as abuse in spite of the fact that much of this abuse results in the death of the child.

So what is the game that outfits such as SNAP are playing with us if not some sort of political game that homes in on a mere 10% of all abuse that takes place to the exclusion of the 90%. It is because 90% of this sexual abuse takes place against girls and highlighting this while excluding the vast majority of cases helps to create the kind of mass hysteria regarding sex crimes that the reactionary feminist agenda is really all about. One can even think of it as an adjunct to the omnipresent police state that operates in the shadow of the over-arching national security state.

The hunt for “sex criminals” takes on ever more bizarre aspects these days. That however, is not the point of this particular posting which is to say that since the greatest and most horrendous cases of child abuse do not jibe with the feminist narrative, its not abuse by their highly selective definition. Is there any reason then why so many reasonably minded people have come to the conclusion (either rightly or wrongly) that there is an ongoing war against boys and men of all colors being waged by the US power structure because this is politically and socially convenient for the power structure in that it enables them to posture and pose on the world stage as the saviors of women?

The fact o the matter is that the US power structure has to find ways to justify its military interventions all over the world in pursuit of purely material ends that can never be justified to the public for what they really are. So a narrative has to be created that can be conveniently used to justify these seemingly never ending foreign military interventions that are usually violations of international law. Since the UN has already become nothing more than a rubber stamp for Western aggression what is more natural for the well paid participants at that particular talking shop for Western elites than that they should bring under their tender care such budding stars as Barbara Blaine and her SNAP show and tell?

Another aspect regarding this matter is that SNAP helps to limit the Vatican’s financial exposure to the flood of lawsuits that no doubt would result from any clear recognition of the Inquisition like physical abuse that so many Catholic children had to suffer through at a formative point in their young lives. In exchange for helping to limit the Vatican’s financial expose Ms. Blaine and SNAP get their fifteen minutes of fame.

I welcome any thought that others may be will and/or able to share with me on this subject. I was quite friendly with a young very handsome young boy whose life was devastated as a result of a relationship with a pedophile priest. He spent many years in and out of mental institutions as a result of the emotional and psychological turmoil that such abuse left him with. So I am certainly not without some real measure of personal understanding for how such boys as “Larry C.” were impacted by this priest by the name of Fr. Weaver at St. John’s Parrish school that I attended as a boy. My only concern is that the larger story of abuse by the Catholic clergy against children still remains in the shadows. I see no reason why I or anyone else who has been so negatively impacted by this should remain silent.

Note-This piece was originally posted to Open Salon on 05-09-2014


About charlesknause

I was born in Camden, N.J. (now the poorest city in America) in 1950 and grew up in a beautiful old Victorian town in South Jersey called Collingswood. I now live in Ormond Beach, FL where the weather suits my spirit. My personal life was impacted at an early point in my life by a psychiatric diagnosis that changed my life and put me on the workers scrap heap. I have refused to accept such a miserable fate and today consider myself a social activist dedicated to changing the way that people who have been diagnosed with a serious psychiatric disability are perceived by society and the people in their community. I have a B.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida and 18 graduate credits in Mental Health Counseling from Stetson University in DeLand, FL as well as 24 graduate credits in an MSW program at UCF. I am a member of the Volusia County Behavioral Health Care Providers Consortium where I function as an advocate. I am a daily reader of the World Socialist Website and an occasional contributor.
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