(Originally published April 18, 2011, then removed at request of attorneys, now OK to publish, so Parts 1, 2, and 3 are here:)
“There’s a problem, it's your blog,” said the the "mediator" beside me, as the Chicago Archdiocese tried to silence City of Angels Blog on April 8, 2011. Church attorneys had lured me to the windy city by apparently telling my lawyer they were ready to settle my case concerning sex acts commited on me at age five by a Catholic priest. However, after several hours, it became obvious: What the Catholic Church really wanted was for me to kill City of Angels Blog, stop publishing stories of the coverup crimes of bishops, and stop writing about what Father Thomas Barry Horne did to me and my sister in the 1950s. Instead of a settlement, all I got from the Church that day was a chicken sandwich, magic tricks - honest, magic tricks - and more motivation than ever to keep producing City of Angels Blog. (Photo above of near empty church was taken during Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago at noon April 7, 2011.)
It's illegal for the defendant to ask the plaintiff for confidentiality in a legal settlement, attorneys from Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., law firm explained to me that day through “mediators.” But if I initiated the request and asked THEM for “confidentiality and an end to all publicity” about the crimes of Father Thomas Barry Horne, the Archdiocese might raise their settlement offer from low four figures to a reasonable amount, in a passive aggressive act of extortion, as in “we can't say we want secrecy, but if you ask us for it, we'll be glad to provide it, because secrecy is what we are really after.”
Apparently the Catholic Church pulls this bait and switch for confidentiality on a lot of pedophile priest victims, because attorneys for Cardinal George presented the request to me as if they do it all the time, which probably explains the “mystery document” discovered in Philadelphia in March 2011 discussed here and here and as a Fox News affiliate reported, prosecutors “took a look at the document and said, ‘I've never seen anything quite like it.’”
Funniest part of this story is, I had already put City of Angels Blog to bed in February 2011, as reported in this post and I was looking for something else to write about. I had gotten burned out after writing what seemed like the same story over and over again: Priest rapes (pick one: altar boy, seminary student, little girl in First Communion class) then Church hides crimes and punishes pedophile priest with early retirement, which means a free place to live in a spa environment with servants, drivers, and a generous pension. I mean, how many times can a person write that same story?
So in February of 2011 I had put City of Angels Blog to bed. The mediation meeting and the Archdiocese’s determination to silence City of Angels Blog ended up lighting a fire under me to start blogging again.
Passive Aggressive Extortion
The mediators, what a joke.
Two long-ago retired attorneys were introduced to me at the beginning of the session, one of whom was supposedly mediating for me and the other mediating for the Catholic Church.
Yet both mediators were being paid by the hour by the Chicago Archdiocese that day, they explained.
I will call the two mediators "Jowls" and "Beady" out of respect for their reputations.
"You have to ask us for confidentiality about Father Horne," said Jowls, who was "on my side."
I said, “That doesn't make any sense. I've already written everything I know about Father Horne and it's all up there on my blog.”
The mediators said the offer from the Church was five thousand dollars.
I said, "That amount is a slap in the face, it's an insult."
Beady asked Jowls, what did she say and Jowls shrugged in disbelief, "She says it's a slap in the face and an insult."
Later, Jowls and Beady implied that if I agreed to ask for confidentiality, the settlement offer might go higher.
The mediators said, “Horne's family is complaining to the Archdiocese about what you've been writing.”
I said, “His family? Did Father Horne have children?”
They said, “The Horne family are upset about what you are doing to his reputation.”
I said, “Then why don't they contact me? My email address is right there at the top of the blog. All they have to do is write to me and we can discuss it.”
The mediators said, “You have to stop writing about Father Horne.”
I said, “Okay, then from now on when I write about him, I’ll call him Father Horny.”
The mediating attorneys then packed up and left the conference room. They never came back in with a better settlement offer.
So when I finally got out of that office about 8PM, I went straight to my hotel room, and brought City of Angels Blog back to life.
We arrived on time then waited and waited...
That morning I had met my plaintiff attorney and his associate, who had both traveled from Springfield, in the lobby of the 330 N. Wabash building, where at a lofty height you find the offices of James Geoly, lead attorney for Francis Cardinal George and the Archdiocese of Chicago, a corporation sole. Just before 10AM, we rode the elevators up to the Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., law firm offices and arrived on time for our appointment.
After a short wait, law firm staff led us into a conference room where Geoly and Patricia Carlson sat at the head of the table, and Ruth Robinson, the assistant director of the archdiocese victim assistance office, sat across from me. The two mediators who were being paid by the archdiocese took up space between the church attorneys and my attorneys and myself.
At 10AM when the mediation began, I was on this pink cloud thinking my life was finally going to change. My lawyer spoke and kept bringing up the Dallas Charter and how the American bishops had agreed in 2004 to help the victims of pedophile priests, even if by law they didn't have to, as is the case with the Ebeling Sisters thanks to the statute of limitations AND the statute of repose, which bars cases that are more than 40 years old in the state of Illinois. Beacuase of the statute of repose I thought this mediation was no less than angelic intervention, indeed a miracle.
My attorney reminded other lawyesr in the room that the Catholic Church should settle my case in the name of being “pastoral.” Down at the end of the table, attorneys for the Archdiocese and Ruth Robinson of the Assistance Ministry all nodded in what I thought was agreement, so I really started to get enthusiastic.
They asked me to tell my story and I burst into tears, saying, I could have been like you, working in a high rise office, if it weren’t for behavior placed in me by Father Thomas Barry Horne, compulsions that got me fired from every job I had and destroyed every career I started. (Read My Story as delivered to Archdiocese attorneys here.)
As I spoke, I got so excited about the Catholic Church finally getting pastoral with me that I even suggested we could all work together. “I've talked to a lot of victims since starting my blog,” I said, “and almost all of us want the same thing: A chain of recovery centers for pedophile priest victims around the country, where we can stay for periods of time, a serene environment where we can go and heal. Why don't we start those rehab centers now here today? I mean, you guys have all that unused real estate from your institutions going out of business because of these crimes. And when you start the rehab centers, you can make me Executive Director.”
I was so enthused at the beginning of the mediation, I even wanted to work for them.
As I told them my story, the church reps responded with “whew” and “wow” at so many of the appropriate times, I actually thought they were listening and ready to help.
Then I left the room while they took a call from my sister in San Francisco, who is six years older than me and was also sexualized around age five by Father Thomas Barry Horne at St. Peter Damian Church in Bartlett, Illinois. Trish had not been able to travel from California as, like me, she is an old lady living in poverty. I was only able to make the trip to Chicago because I had been saving up to get a set of false teeth, and when I got the call about the mediation, I used my "denture capital" to ride Amtrak to Chicago and get a room at a Best Western hotel.
While Trish told her story by phone, I was alone back in the small conference room. There I found a pile of upscale take-out containers, each with chicken salad sandwiches and coleslaw. Wow my life really is changing, I thought. The sandwiches were in the same kind of high end containers I’d often see being delivered to movie producers and studio hierarchy, when I was working in L.A. I’d be outside their offices toiling in a cubicle, pouring hot water on a Cup o’ Noodles, watching the executives take one or two bites of their chicken salad sandwiches then throw them aside, just because they can.
Now here I was being served a chicken salad sandwich in an upscale takeout container myself. My life really was finally going to change.
Several hours later, as my lawyers and I still sat waiting for word from the archdiocese lawyers down the hall, the remains of those chicken salad sandwiches really started to stink.
After my sister told her story by phone, my two lawyers returned to the small conference room and bantered back and forth, “Well, there’s no doubt that everything these two women are saying is true." "It's horrible what happened to these two women." "Imagine what they could have been." "These two women deserve compensation.”
Then the hours ticked by.
Jowls and Beady, the two mediators, would sometimes come and sit with us, then go to the large conference room to talk to the archdiocese lawyers, then return to the small conference room to talk with us. The mediators were at that age where you repeat the same jokes over and over again, and most people, out of respect for elders, listen and laugh politely.
At one point, Jowls pulled a wad of cardboard clippings out of his pocket, trashy little slips of cut-up cereal boxes. Jowls said, “You see these?” and forced the cardboard slips in front of each of our faces. “Now watch this,” said Jowls, "I gotta show you something." And with a wave of his hands, the cardboard clippings turned into paper money bills that said “one million dollars.” He might have gotten the play money from a magic trick supply site.
Jowls went around the room and stuck the paper money in front of each of our faces until we laughed at the joke and said, yes, it is a million dollar bill. “See?” he’d say, “what does that say?” I said, “A million dollars, yeah it does, it says it's a one million dollar bill,” as he was at that age where you show a man respect.
The other mediator Beady was off to the side sort of glaring at Jowls, like when is Jowls going to learn there’s a time and a place for everything, and this mediation is not the place for magic tricks. Beady would glare at Jowls with those penetrating eyes and look irritated. But my two lawyers and I were getting a little bored waiting for the guys in the other conference room to finally make a reasonable offer.
So as Jowls repeated his trick, we would be accommodating, and laugh politely repeating, Yes, it does, it says One Million Dollars. I mean, when I get that age, I hope individuals I encounter will afford me the same patience with my inevitable dottiness.
What are they arguing about?
You could hear hollering coming from the room where the archdiocese lawyers and victim assistance woman were discussing the Ebeling sisters. As the hours droned on, occasionally I’d bound down the hallway to go to the ladies room and pass the closed door to the large conference room, where they were apparently making phone calls to other lawyers at the archdiocese offices. Sometimes Jowls and Beady would be summoned in to join the hollering. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but a lot of arguing went on in that conference room, hollering about the Ebeling sisters.
After about two hours, Jowls and Beady came back into the the small conference room where I was waiting with my two lawyers.
Jowls sat down close to me and I kept getting distracted by strange protuberances on his face. He said, “They're ready to make a better offer, fifteen thousand dollars.”
I said “What? Fifteen thousand dollars is supposed to make up for 57 years of a destroyed life?”
Across the table, Beady asked, what did she say, and Jowls repeated, “She says fifteen thousand doesn't make up for her destroyed life” and he shrugged.
I said, “That won't even keep me from being homeless," and Jowls laughed.
Jowls told Beady, “She says she might be homeless" and Beady laughed.
They once again tried to explain the reverse confidentiality request I could make that would likely sweeten the offer from the Archdiocese, but by then I was not listening.
Jowls and Beady left the room, my lawyers and I made small talk. “Look,” I said, “they even have taxis on the river in this town.”
Jowls and Beady returned to the room after another intermindable length of time. Jowls leaned close to me and explained in my ear, it's because of all those McCormack cases that ARE inside the statute (as in less than a decade or so old) "Those McCormack cases are going to cost the Archdiocese hundreds of millions of dollars," said Jowls.
I wanted to say, so? What's another million, but I kept quiet. Then Jowls got even closer to me and repeated at least three times, “You know, they don't have to give you anything at all, because of the statute.”
I said, "Fifteen thousand is out of the queastion and no way will I ask the Archdiocese for confidentiality."
The mediators left the small conference room to go back to the large conference room, and my lawyers and I waited. And waited. The sun began to set behind the high rises and the river turned black and cold.
Going into Face Mash Mode
“I'm beginning to feel like Mark Zuckerberg,” I said at one point to the associate who came with my plaintiff attorney, as we sat alone in the little conference room. He looked at me questioning. I said, “I just finished reading the book, Accidental Billionaires, that was made into the movie, The Social Network and the screenplay got the Academy Award this year for best adaptation.”
Being a Midwesterner, the associate attorney did not share with me the awe of Oscar, but I went on. “There’s a scene in the book, Zuckerberg comes back to his dorm room at Harvard, frustrated because he can’t get his basic needs met, he can’t get a girl to even look at him, so he sits down at his computer with a stack of beers and starts hacking, and hacking, and the result was Face Mash that ended up becoming Facebook, and now Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire."
I went on, “I feel like I'm about to go back to my hotel room and do the same thing Zuckerberg did the night he inadvertently started Facebook. Not hack into other computers, I don't know how to hack, but I do know how to blog. I feel like I have to do something, because these people are frustrating me so much and like Zuckerberg, I'm not getting my basic needs met. I'm not going to get a home and some security for my old age from these people, I can feel it.”
From Accident Billionaires:
“Harvard Face Mash/The ProcessZuckerberg stayed at his computer through that night and created something that had never existed before, just because he could, downloading pictures of girls from different club and sorority sites at Harvard, creating Face Mash, a place for guys to comment on the females’ looks. Then over the next months, Face Mash became Facebook, and well, the rest is history.
He might have looked at the words for a few minutes, wondering if he was going to go through with this. He might have taken another drink from his beer, and hunched forward over the keys…. The desktop’s screen whirred to life. He quickly opened up his Internet connection, linking himself to the school’s network. A few more clicks of the keys and he was ready.
“Maybe at this point he knew he was about to cross a line, but then, he’d never been very good at staying within the lines…. If information was getable, didn't Mark have the right to get it? What sort of evil authority could decide that he wasn’t allowed access to something he so easily could access?”
The associate plaintiff attorney looked at me like he was worried what I might do.
A few hours later, Jowls and Beady the mediators doddered into the room and my attorneys and I looked up hopefully. But Jowls sat next to me looking a bit defeated and: “There’s a problem," he repeated, "it's your blog.”
There was a lot of jousting back and forth from there, my lawyer trying to get the church attorneys to be reasonable, I mean, he and his associate had just spent the entire day there and were now going to leave without a dime.
Jowls and Beady repeated, “You have to ask us for confidentiality, ask us to never publicize anything about Father Horne or what he did to you and your sister.”
I repeated, “But that doesn't make any sense.”
Jowls repeated, “The Horne family wants you to stop writing about him.”
I said, “You're making me want to get out of here and go right back to work writing more about Father Horny.”
My lawyer asked me to stop talking and said, “We won’t take anything less than $50 thousand dollars.” I bit my tongue, but to be honest, by that point I didn't want any of their tainted cash.
Soon the firm attorneys summoned us into the larger conference room where they had been hollering behind closed doors all day. We gathered around the same table where we’d sat at 10AM that morning, but I was long descended from the pink cloud I’d been on, and instead of being enthused to work with them, I just couldn't wait to get out of that office building.
We were about to get down to business, when-
Jowls stood up and said, “Wait, I gotta show you all something,” and pulled the little wad of cardboard clippings out of his pocket, waved his hand, and turned them into play money bills that said “one million dollars,” which he then stuck under everyone’s face and we all nodded politely, and said, Yes it does, it says One Million Dollars.
It's not a good time to call the Cardinal
Then my lawyer repeated that we wouldn't even consider anything less than 50 thousand dollars. The bishop’s main mouthpiece, James Geoly, started to squirm in his seat. He said, We have to get approval from the Cardinal for anything higher than 15, and we can’t call the cardinal now. Several voices questioned, why can’t we call the cardinal?
Geoly's face turned beet-red as he said, because the Cardinal is on the way back from testifying at the capitol. Francis George had spent that day in Springfield testifying in favor of ways to make it harder for women to get abortions in Illinois, since the Cardinal is such a moral authority.
My lawyer said, well get him on the phone, but Geoly’s face reddened. “No, we can’t, this is not a good time to call him.”
I said, “He’s probably in the backseat of his limo downing shots, and getting too drunk to communicate.” Beady looked at me and nodded agreement, but then he turned to Jowls and asked, “What did she say?”
Jowls sat with his mouth hanging open, he was done for the day too.
I finally got out of there. On Wabash Avenue, all the lawyers got in taxis, and I put on my legwarmers saying, "My life didn't change today, I can't hail a cab" and I walked down the lake front to my bargain rate hotel
All that day, no one ever questioned whether Father Horne really did molest me and my sister, they all seemed to know what we said was the truth. They just hammered it in to me, that the Church is not bound by statute to make amends to me. But they might make a higher offer if I would quit doing City of Angels Blog.
What the Archdiocese really wanted, what they really summoned me all the way to Chicago for, was to try to intimidate me to stop blogging about their crimes and stop writing about Father Thomas Barry Horne-y.
I left the offices of the lawyers for the Archdiocese of Chicago having gotten nothing more than a chicken sandwich and some magic tricks, plus a promise that maybe they’d get back to me in the morning with a better offer, as long as I agreed to stop writing about them.
In my email next morning was notice from a reporter with Telegracia which is a Spanish language TV station based in Miami. He wrote that attorneys in Germany were hoping to prosecute Pope Benedict at The Hague for crimes against humanity and they needed people to send them stories and evidence of crimes committed by the Catholic Church.
I thought, I can’t just sit on this information and no one from SNAP or Bishop Accountability has reported it. So I put up this post including the address of the Prosecutor at The Hague International Criminal Court in the Netherlands for victims to send their evidence.
As is so often the case with PTSD patients, I had no impulse control whatsoever, when I put up that post. I didn't even call my lawyer first, because I knew he'd advise me not to write it. I knew I was probably ruining any chance I had to ever have any money in the bank. Then I went into Face Mash mode and started promoting City of Angels Blog all over the internet, every way I know how, often inventing new ways on my own, because that's what I do.
I never heard again from any of the lawyers from that mediation session, not from my attorney or those of the archdiocese. You know what? I don't care. Because I don't want the stinking dirty ill-gotten money from the Archdiocese anyway. Cash from these criminals would probably bring a lot of turmoil to my life because money from the Catholic Church comes with filth dripping off of it.
Sure my teeth are rotting in my mouth and I have to start all over saving up for dentures. In the meantime, I’ll use a lot of mouthwash, it's not the end of the world.
But I sure could use some PayPal clicks.
So all I got after mediating with lawyers from the Catholic Church about a settlement for pedophile priest crimes of Father Thomas Barry Horne was a chicken salad sandwich, magic tricks, and a light fired up under me, motivating me go back to producing City of Angels Blog like gangbusters.
What would Jesus do?
As it says in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.”
A week after the mediation, riding across the country to the shelter where I now live as I am dirt poor, I couldn't help thinking about Jesus’ sermon on the mount, just after he delivers the Lord’s Prayer, where he tells us all that we don't need priests, and we shouldn't make a public display out of prayer: All we have to do is look up to the sky and call out, “Our Father who art in Heaven.”
Jesus was a real rock star in his day, traveling the country followed by throngs of fans.
Christ preached that all the pomp and ceremony currently practiced by priests (rabbis) was ungodly and should be stopped, he preached against the same kind of ceremony and pomp that the Church started rejuvenating three hundred years after Jesus was crucified. To this day, when Cardinals and Bishops testify at state capitols about issues such as how women should handle the very private medical issue of traumatic pregnancy, the hierarchs wear silken robes and crosses made of gold dangle from their necks.
Jesus himself said not to worry about money or how you will pay for the things you need in this life. He said, look at the birds, they always have seed and a place to sleep, don't you think God cares as much about you as he does the birds? Here is the quote, from The New Testament, Matthew 6:25-34, directly following the Lord’s Prayer at Matthew 6:9-14, which was part of a sermon where Jesus told us not to make a big public performance out of prayer:
“I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today
Jesus was such a revolutionary, they crucified him for having the audacity to say, “You don't need a priest or religion to pray to God.”
And I don't need money from the Catholic Church to get justice for the crimes of one of its pedophile priests.
I've got my blog.
To: Ruth Robinson, Assistant Director,
Victim Assistance Ministry Chicago Archdiocese
You seem like a real sweet person, Ruth, with a better grasp of God than any of the guys you work for at the Archdiocese. But if you don't get out of there quick, you will turn into one of them. I know the economy is tough, but there are always other jobs, you don't have to work for them, and if you do, it will destroy you.
ANOTHER POST NOTE:
Towards the end of our marathon waiting session, the mediators walked in and started asking me questions about my father’s death, an incident that happened in 1997 and it was 2004 before I was able to speak out loud about it. Seven years after his death that may have been a murder I got over the kind of shock I was in. I cried about it, went to therapy over it, and accepted it, then put it behind me. The situation could have been called “enhanced early inheritance” and was a bit similar to the cases described in this story at Philly Dot Com last weekend.
Now, all of a sudden in a mediation in 2011 about pedophile priest priest crimes in Bartlett in 1955, the Chicago Archdiocese attorneys are questioning me about my father’s death.
“We understand there was some question about your father’s suicide.”
“My dad didn't commit suicide.”
“Well then there was something unusual about the way he died.”
“I, my mom- my oldest sister- I- there was money there that disappeared. Not a lot of money… I think someone in the family may have… accelerated his death… I don't know really what-“
“And you wrote about it on your blog?”
Energy drained out of me. “I- he- it was-“
“And your sister has said some rather nasty things about your father.”
No words would come out of my mouth.
Now almost two weeks later, in fact just yesterday, I realized, why were they asking me in 2011 about my father’s death back in 1997? His death has NOTHING- NOTHING to do with the case I'm making against Father Thomas Barry Horne and the Chicago Archdiocese. I never even told my dad about what happened when I was five at the hands of that pervert priest. When I started dealing with the pedophile crimes my dad was in his eighties and frail, so I spared him the trauma.
But Chicago Archdiocese attorneys saw no reason to spare the trauma in me as they tried to throw me into a vulnerable emotional state so they could get me to sign their barely legal papers asking them for confidentiality, so I’d stop writing this blog and exposing their serial felonies. And people call Catholicism a religion?
Same Scripture from Amplified Bible, which is my favorite translation:
25Therefore I tell you, stop being [v]perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the [w]span of his life?(B) 28And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and [x]learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. 29Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his [y]magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.] 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? 32For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. 33But seek ([z]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([aa]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [ab]taken together will be given you besides. 34So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble
Who needs cash or a settlement? I've got my blog.
-Kay Ebeling, April 18, 2011.
Don't forget my PayPal button needs clicks with Multiple High Fives (so I can get those false teeth sooner than later)...
Click here for theme music that goes with this story.
PART 2 - Cogitating
Recently I was summoned to the Chicago Archdiocese law offices on the guise of them being about to offer me a settlement, and instead they held me and two lawyers from my side in their conference room for more than seven hours, THEN entered the room and informed me that what they really wanted was for me to stop blogging and the only way they would give me a settlement is if I stopped blogging.
Well, I walked out of their office and back to the hotel room and started blogging again, as I figure, if they are going to go to that much trouble to stop me, then I must be doing something right.
However, the truth is that trip to Chicago broke me, as in took all the money I had, so I had to leave my hotel and get a ride to a friend's house and live here in what is almost like a shelter, as this woman is an angel who takes in people when they are in crisis and lets them stay with her. I am set up here in a little room with another woman where I set up this makeshift thing with furniture piled on boxes, etc. so I can continue to do my job transcribing reality TV show interviews, and
Continue blogging, but It's been hard the past week.
But I'm not going to stop blogging and I'm not going to go crazy, as both of those are what the Archdiocese wants, and I can't let them win.
I am waking up with nightmares about that law office, that jowly old church attorney who entered the room after seven hours, me so tired and disoriented by then from their weirdness since 10 AM that day (all this will come out in stories to be posted soon). Jowls took the seat next to me where, with my two lawyers, we waited in anticipation, expecting them to come forward this time with a number, like $75K, which would make this whole trip worthwhile for all of us. ($750K is what I want now, and every time they screw with me I'm adding another zero.)
Instead Jowls sat next to me, his skin jiggling around his face, looked at me and said, "There's a problem. It's your blog."
That's my nightmare, that jiggling jowly church attorney smiling at me while he delivers the real message from the Bishop.
More to come
(All this is true, it happened April 8th in the law firm of James Geoli in Chicago, a high rise with security guards preventing anyone without an appointment from going up in the elevators. That's how the Catholic Church does business, anything to keep the story of pedophile priests and how they covered up their crimes from coming out, even if it means destroying a 62 year old lady who communes with angels.)
More to come soon
A little more preview today here Pure Evil it's not just about raping children
Pure evil, pure evil, that's why I'm freaking out now and having nightmares, because I had to get so close for several hours to Pure Evil, last week in the office of the lawyers who represent Cardinal Francis George and the Archdiocese of Chicago... continued
Pure evil, pure evil, that's why I'm freaking out now and having nightmares, because I had to get so close for several hours to Pure Evil, last week in the office of the lawyers who represent Cardinal Francis George and the Archdiocese of Chicago.
It's not just about raping children, as if that were not enough. With the Catholic Church coverup of sex crimes of its priests, it's about Pure Evil, about hiring corporate lawyers to finagle manipulations so you can get away with breaking the law, any law can be broken if you have enough lawyers. It's about taking the Word of God and twisting it to keep yourself in so much power that even though everyone from the Supreme Court and the President of the United States, to one little old 62 year old lady, can see how evil and illegal everything is that they do, yet, they continue to be in positions of power and influence.
Pure Evil, and when you get too close to it, it gets under your skin and attacks you through your subconscious at night while you sleep, re-entering your mind as dreams, nightmares that wake you up way before sunlight in a cold sweat, like I've had past few nights.
Pure Evil and it will take me a few weeks to recover from this interaction.
But I will overcome.
(This post started here)
PART 3 - What I told the attorneys in Chicago about my own story
When I met with attorneys for the Chicago Archdiocese April 8, 2011, the mediation started with me telling “My story,” which I've reproduced below the way I told it to them. Archdiocese attorneys never questioned whether or not my story of being on the receiving end of pedophile priest crime was true, they just said, “We don’t have to give you a settlement because of the statute of limitations, but if you ask us for confidentially, and agree to stop writing about your experiences, and agree to stop writing your blog about the entire crime spree and cover-ups, we will pay you.”
First as the meeting opened, I looked over at them, all dressed from success and comfortable in their high rise offices, and burst out crying. I said:
The reason I'm crying is when I see people like you in offices, wearing nice clothes, looking successful, I realize, I could have been like that too. But every job I had I destroyed with my behavior, sexual compulsions placed in me by the fingers of Father Thomas Barry Horne, in the 1950s, at St. Peter Damian Church in Bartlett IL. So now I have to support myself as a typist.
I was born in Chicago in 1948, but when I was eight months old the family moved out to twenty acres on Route 20, just outside the entrance to Bartlett. About the same time, in 1949, Father Horne arrived in Bartlett from Chicago and founded St. Peter Damian parish.
At Right, Father Thomas Barry Horne, outside St. Peter Damian Church, around 1954.
We were very involved as a family with the church. My dad was an usher in the church and my mom played the organ, and my oldest sister sang soprano solos during Mass.
From the age of six on I was stuffing myself to cover up something, but back in the 1950s, people didn't know that childhood overeating and teenage sexual precocity and drug use were likely signs of sexual abuse at an early age. First I was obese at age six, then when I reached puberty, I wanted to be attractive, so I started starving myself, and turned to diet pills and other drugs. From my twenties on, I added alcohol to the mix, so technically I was never sober and clear headed from age six on.
Then I had a baby at age 40. When Lizzie was about three years old, I realized, I have to stop drinking and using drugs, as I'm no kind of a mother when I'm stoned all the time. So I went to A-A and got sober.
Then when I was clean and sober for two years, clear headed for the first time in my life, my daughter turned five years old at the same time and it was “the perfect storm.” The combination of me being sober and my daughter turning that age, I started remembering things that happened to me at the hands of father Thomas Barry Horne when I too was five years old.
Up until then I had always known something happened back in the woods outside Bartlett. I just couldn't remember it clearly. I used to have this inner secret, that I’d been visited in the woods by St. Michael the Archangel and aroused sexually when I was preschool aged.
But now, clean and sober and remembering things clearly, I realized it was no angel that sexualized me at that early age. It was the parish priest.
When I recovered the memory, it never even dawned on me to file a lawsuit right then in 1994, even though that would have put me within the statute of limitations by Illinois law, as it was within months from making the connection between the behavior and the abuse. Back in 1994, I probably would have gotten a settlement.
I didn't file a lawsuit because I was so HAPPY, to finally understand what was wrong with me. Now I knew why I had acted out the way I did, now I understood why I kept getting fired, why my sexual behavior was always so shocking and uncontrollable. I floated around on a pink cloud for a good year, repeating all the time, now I understand why, now I know why I did the things I did.
Back in the early 1950s when we lived in Illinois, my dad had a job where he traveled all the time, and my mother was at home on the 20 acres on Route 20, alone with me and my sister who was six years older than me. Father Horne apparently imposed himself on our lives under the guise of helping out my overwhelmed mom, as she had her hands full taking care of children and all that acreage, with no other adults around.
I also know that Father Horne had a sexual relationship with my mother. One memory I always had, never repressed, was walking in on my mom with Father Horne, when we were still living on U.S. Twenty, and he had her bare breast in his hands.
Since my mother played the organ in the church, there were times when I would ride into town with her, and while she was practicing for an upcoming Mass, I would end up alone with Father Horne in the rectory, a little room where he slept on no bed, just a mat on the floor.
A clear memory I've had since that time when my daughter was five years old, one that invaded my head and has stayed there ever since, is being alone with Father Horne in his little room, and I can hear my mother playing the organ, and since she is practicing, I can hear her dissonant organ chords coming from in the next building, as she hits the wrong notes.
At left, Horne at retirement in 1975, a drink in his hand
I don't remember a lot of details from being in the rectory alone with Father Horne, but what I do remember clearly is him giving me a sweet drink, something that was probably alcoholic. There was also smoke, something I think was hasheesh, maybe opium. Whatever it was, he filled me with mind-altering substances, so details of what happened while I was alone with Father Horne in his rectory are cloudy memories, involving his fingers on my private parts. When I allow the memories to enter my mind, I feel an incredibly powerful arousal, a sexual energy seems to fill up the space all around me, it's larger than life. It makes me so uncomfortable, I usually shove the memories back down and stop thinking about them.
There were several times that I was out in the woods with Father Horne when he was “watching me” as a favor to my mom. The relationship might have gone on longer, but my father was a real estate speculator. He made improvements on the U.S. Twenty property and sold it, and the family moved into the town of Bartlett onto Hickory Street.
This put a wrench in Horne’s activities with me as we were no longer isolated out in the country. When we lived out in “the woods” as we called it, Horne had free and easy access to me and my sister, with no one else around to observe what he was doing. Now we were in town and he had to put a stop to things.
Remember, I enjoyed what he did to me, I loved it, it made me feel GREAT. So as soon as we moved onto Hickory Street when I was six years old, I jumped on my bicycle and rode over to the church, ran up to the little room where Father Horne lived, and banged on the door, excited, saying, hey I'm here, now we live in town, I can come here all the time. Let’s do it some more.
There at his door, Horne got very uncomfortable and acted cold towards me, told me I couldn't come in, looked around to make sure no one saw me, and sent me home.
That didn't stop my enthusiasm for the things Father Horne showed me.
There on Hickory Street, there was a tree house where neighborhood kids played. One day I took a group of kids up to the tree house and got them all to pull down their pants, then showed them how to touch themselves to have this great wonderful feeling, like Father Horne had showed me. I wanted to share with all the kids this thing that made you feel so good.
One of the kids left the tree house and apparently went and told his parents what I was doing, as I then became the pariah of the neighborhood, none of the kids were allowed to play with me anymore.
Soon after the tree house incident, my dad drove me on the two-lane highway that was U.S. 20 all the way to Chicago to what I think were the archdiocese offices, maybe the home of the bishop at the time that used to be on Superior near State Street.
I always remembered that trip. A man who everyone called “the bishop” came into the room and stood over me and said, “You have to stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you.” It was then that I repressed the memory, and it took the miracle of having a daughter turn age five at the same time I was clean and sober for two years, for me to ever recover those memories again.
Within a few weeks my dad lined up a new job, and we moved from Bartlett, Illinois, to Los Angeles.
Me being a pariah became a pattern for the rest of my life. I was always the bad girl who other kids weren't allowed to play with.
When we first got to California, my mom took me to Confession once at a church in San Gabriel, it may have been the mission there. I went into the confessional and said bless me father for I have sinned.
I said to the priest, “I had impure thoughts.”
He chuckled, “Now what kind of impure thoughts could a little girl like you have.”
Then I started repeating to him the words Father Horne had taught me to say back in Bartlett. He’d filled my head with sexual fantasies that involve multiple partners and alarming exhibitionism.
The priest in San Gabriel was shocked, astonished, ran out of the confessional and into the church. His eyes were bugging out of his head and he was pointing at me going, “Waa- waa- waa what's the matter with her?” He looked disgusted with me, like I was some kind of evil being and he wanted me to get out of his church immediately.
Like I said, I was a pariah for most of my life, thanks to what Father Horne did to me when I was five years old.
I grew up to be the slut no decent person wanted to be friends with, the whore who, no matter how good a job I was doing, I always got fired from every job I had, because of my sexual behavior.
No one wants a whore around, after they're finished with her.
That was my experience all my adult life. I’d work hard to get hired in wonderful jobs with great futures, then act out sexually in a shocking way, and get fired. And I’d never realize what I was doing wrong, because my sexual behavior was just what I did, I’d never be able to stop myself from being a sexual aggressor.
I went to Hollywood to become an actress when I was 19 years old. I was very talented and if I’d worked at it in a sane way, I’d probably have had a good solid career. Instead I made pornographic movies, as if it didn't matter. I had no boundaries. Then when I finally had an opportunity to get a good agent and start getting real work, he asked me, You haven’t done any of this new X-Rated stuff have you? Even if you did, it's no big deal, just tell me the names of the photographers and I’ll buy up all the negatives.”
I couldn't give him those names, there had been too many, of them. So I ran away from Hollywood to Texas.
I’d always get fired, asked to leave, vibed out, everywhere I went, because of my sexual behavior.
Still I was brainy and ambitious, so there was this constant conflict. For example, I found my way to The University of Texas at Austin, and in my junior year, learned about jobs for civilians at NASA, the space agency, in Houston.
Something clicked inside me, and I HAD to get a job at NASA. I told people it was a new motivation to help humans get out into space, but really my drive to work at NASA was from a compulsion to be around dynamic men with access to places in the sky, a confusion between my buried memories of Father Horne and astronauts.
I was so intelligent, so talented, so capable, that after I lobbied them my entire senior year of college, NASA actually created a civil service job for me in the public affairs office at Johnson Space Center in Houston. It was a very high profile job, writing press releases, training to do mission commentary for upcoming space shuttle flights, handling press events for the new team of astronauts hired to fly the Space Shuttle.
But then I made what could be seen as a mockery of a position in “public affairs.” I did an exceptional job as a public information officer, explaining complex scientific and engineering concepts to reporters in press releases, manning the newsroom during missions. But then after I’d get off work I’d go to one of the nearby bars and pick up three or four men at a time, and have very public sex with them. It wasn’t long before I had a squalid reputation in that insular community of people who worked on the space program in Houston. NASA couldn't fire me, because I was a civil servant. So instead my boss in the Public Information Office found ways to make things so uncomfortable for me on the job, that I had no choice but to quit.
I never got over the shame and scandal I experienced at NASA back in the late 1970s, but I still never realized what it was I was doing wrong that kept getting me fired. I still didn't realize that my sexuality was not normal, that in fact it was sick.
I thought I was doing what everyone else wanted to do.
I came home to L.A. from Houston and lived a shocking life of exhibitonism and picking up strange men by the numbers on the streets of West Hollywood, but in the middle of all this was a miracle. I came up pregnant. I took my baby daughter and moved up to Eureka, California, and became very isolated. I knew there was something wrong with the way I was with men, so I went to great lengths to make sure there were never any men around.
We lived in an empty place, on an empty street, I got clean and sober for the first time, and then just started remembering everything that happened at the hands of Father Horne.
And that's my story.
Those dirty thoughts, those sick sexual fantasies planted in my head as I learned to give Confession by Father Horne, still invade my head and as a result, I have NEVER been able to have a healthy sexual relationship.
You will be hearing next from my sister over the phone from San Francisco. She and I should be close today, except she has always had an antagonism towards me. I called her on the phone when I first started remembering what happened with Father Horne in 1994 and she said to me, “No wonder I've been so hostile to you all our lives. You took away my first lover.”
So thanks to the dilettante flagrantes Father Thomas Barry Horne perpetrated on my body and mind when I was five-six years old, I never had a healthy intimate experience, my relationship with my sister and all the rest of my family has been tainted, and I got fired from every job I ever had.
Now, a woman who was once a public information officer for NASA, I work as a typist to make a living. I do tape transcription over the internet, a job that allows me to stay home and rarely ever interact with anyone, as I had the experience of being shunned so often, I no longer even try to open up to people. I never got to have a healthy life, never got to be the person I could and should have been.
That's all I have to say.
(Sitting next to me as I spoke at the Chicago session was Jowls, a mediator who was supposed to represent me but who was actually being paid by the Chicago Archdiocese. After I finished he said to me, “Really? You worked at NASA? That must have been a miracle.” He just didn't get it. My time at NASA is nothing I can look back on with pride, it was a lonely and sad time for me, filled with scandal and shame. I was an outcast, shunned by an entire population of people, I couldn't even get anyone to sit with me in the lunch room. I said to Jowls, “It's just another part of my life that got destroyed because of Father Horne.”)
This story accompanies this story about the mediation session at the Chicago Archdiocese attorneys offices April 8, 2011, where the Catholic Church tried to silence City of Angels Blog.
Horne outside St. Peter Damian Church in Bartlett IL, c. 1955
Kay Ebeling, April 18, 2011
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