Just like with priest personnel files, a judge can review subpoenaed SNAP files "in camera" and decide what information should not be released, in order to prevent damage to persons involved. The same rules should apply to SNAP as apply to the Catholic Church. No Secrets. Clohessy's current intransigence on this issue makes me wonder, what is SNAP so determined to hide?
It amazes me how SNAP can make "survivors" look bad by issuing press statements, claiming they speak for survivors, when I don't think SNAP has ever taken a poll or asked survivors to vote on where they want the "movement" to go, or even conducted a vote on who should be the leaders. For example, to me and a lot of survivors, leafletting about pedophiles outside Mass at churches is insensitive and makes victims look as "callous and reckless" as SNAP calls the church. Yet SNAP ignored me and other survivors who tried to point out this insensitivity and asked for the activism to have a different focus. Clohessy just answered to me, "This is what we do." Then SNAP continued to leafet outside churches, making it clear, at least to me, that SNAP was taking direction from some invisible entity, not survivors at the grass roots level.
This situation where Clohessy released information that was under a gag order in a press statement, then was ordered by a court to turn over documents and refused, has opened up a can of worms, and made victims look so unfair that, once again, I get the feeling SNAP is working surreptitiously for the church. I know most people think I'm paranoid for believing SNAP really works for the church, but look at how this stance Clohessy has taken makes pedophile priest victims look hypocritical and opens the door for suspicion and criticism.
SNAP is claiming the church is too secretive while SNAP carries out the same secretive tactics as the church, refusing to answer questions in deposition and refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents- It's as if SNAP's goal is to make victims look like hypocrites.
I might feel compassion for David Clohessy's current dilemma if SNAP had Ever shown concern for individual survivors, or demonstrated any real advocacy and support for the pedophile priest victims. But instead SNAP seems to mainly work to get the SNAP name in the news connected to every story about pedophile priests, to make sure the only thing anyone reads about this issue from "survivors" is a prefabricated press statement from a corporate spokesperson at SNAP.
So SNAP assures that all communication about these crimes everywhere in the country goes through SNAP, where details of the crimes then rarely get publicly reported again, other than a meek sound byte in response to stories that are already in the news.
That's damage control, not advocacy, and in the case of accused priest Michael Tierney of St. Louis, Clohessy seems to have gone too far, and now he's asking for the rules that apply to everyone else not to apply to him or the survivors' "network."
Maybe Clohessy made a big mistake, or maybe he knew exactly what he was doing all along.
In other words, this whole thing stinks, and this is yet another layer in the cesspool of the "survivor movement" self destructing while SNAP runs the show.
I'd like to see SNAP have to open its files for investigation. We might finally find out who they really represent. It might cause the news media to report something other than whatever pre-approved statement comes out of a SNAP spokesperson's mouth and instead start asking some probing questions.
For instance SNAP claims to get "hundreds" of calls from new victims each week. But where is the evidence? Where are the hundreds of new victims and their stories? Where is the support and comfort for victims? Why do only one or two people show up for SNAP events when there are about a hundred thousand pedophile priest victims in the USA right now?
Where is the advocacy? Other than in SNAP press statements...
This latest chapter with Clohessy avoiding deposition questions has provided a whole bucket of manure for Catholic Church defenders to use in their endless efforts to make the pedophile priest victims look like we are in it for the money and that many of us just made up our stories so we could file lawsuits.
Clohessy wants it both ways. By calling himself a spokesperson for survivors, he makes all pedophile prist victims look like we want to operate under a separate set of rules.
SNAP has played right into church defense hands with this latest incident, and by continuing to refuse to turn over their documents and answer questions in deposition, SNAP continues to make the victims look like opportunistic hypocrites.
I can't help feeling that the purpose of SNAP all along was to make victims look bad, otherwise, why weren't activists like Jay Nelson and me and Michael Baumann and so many others across the country taken in and made part of the "network" so that it would operate as a genuine network? The opposite happened. Anyone with new and innovative ideas to contribute to the movement has been trompled on and silenced by SNAP. Now the movement consists of one or two people in St. Louis and Chicago representing "us" to the world.
And look at the negative image of "survivors" that they are creating.
I have watched the way the news media go only to SNAP to get "sound bytes" that say almost nothing at all, then reporters publish SNAP press statements and think they are including our side of the story. I've watched one activist after another across the country get shot down while Barbara and David insinuate themselves into the middle of every story on this issue, blocking out everyone else. Now with this new development, I can only observe, as I've developed a strange case of ennuie about the whole issue of pedophile priests, a reaction eerily similar to that of other survivors who tried to do something with this "movement" and instead of encouragement, got shot down by SNAP.
Activists end up defeated and give up: Hmm. Seems SNAP creates the exact result the Catholic Church would want, and would go to any length to make happen.
So now I'll sit and watch Crusaders, such as David Pierre with his mediareport and Bill Donohue from the Catholic League, use this latest debacle from SNAP as ammunition to shoot us all down. Believe me, it pains me to find myself agreeing with The Catholic League, but you have to tell the truth as you see it, no matter how unpopular it makes you.
Someday someone with some influence will take time to figure out what really happened here. For now I just sit here on the sidelines where SNAP made sure I ended up, observing.
And again wondering: Who put these people from SNAP in charge to begin with and what is their real motivation?
Sick and tired of the whole damn thing, I am,
Read the story about this latest hypocrisy at Boston dot com:
Priest-abuse victims group ordered to open its files******************
December 31, 2011
By Jim Suhr and Rachel Zoll
ST. LOUIS - An advocacy group that has relentlessly pressured Roman Catholic leaders to reveal the scope of sex abuse in the church has been ordered to disclose records to one priest’s defense lawyers that could include years of e-mails with victims, journalists, and others.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has so far failed to block the ruling by a judge, which requires the organization to produce the documents and also allows defense attorneys to depose the network’s national director, David Clohessy...
I've written a lot more on SNAP- its secrecy, its insistence on control of the message, and its questionable treatment of victims- at City of Angels 2 in the past two years. I write from my place on the sidelines, marginalized and almost silenced, where SNAP wants the more vocal survivors to stay.
I've learned that if a survivor criticizes SNAP, they end up ostrasized and blacklisted, in good old Catholic Church historical tradition.
So go figure.