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Monday, October 17, 2016

Several perfect storms exposed pedophile priests

By Kay Ebeling - City of Angels

He was tall and thin and wore bow ties, and he was packing up his laptop to leave just as the hearing started.
While counsel for plaintiffs stood before the judge detailing obstruction of justice the Archdiocese carried out against pedophile priest victims, the court beat reporter from the L.A. Times was packing up to leave. And he was the only journalist there besides me. 
The judge said something like: “So the monsignor bumped into the priest who then scampered into the woods to hide, then a nine-year-old boy came out of the rectory with blood running down his legs, and now defendant will not produce the monsignor for deposition?” to which plaintiff’s attorney emphasized, “Yes, your honor.”
I grabbed the L.A. Times guy’s arm and asked, “Why are you leaving?”
“Phil Spector!” he stage whispered and scampered out of the courtroom to cover the celebrity murder trial up the street. ***
The Times reporter left with his two thousand dollar laptop and I stayed at the hearing, scribbling notes into a dime store notepad. Then came a perfect storm. 
Even the cheapest laptops cost a thousand dollars back then and I had been on unemployment for more than a year around the time of that hearing, in part due to a writers' strike. So at home all I had was a massive desktop with massive monitor. Then all of a sudden I went back to work and somehow Unemployment owed me a thousand dollars in back payments.  I didn't even know why.
So a check for a little more than a thousand dollars showed up in my mailbox.  I used the lump sum to buy a laptop and took it with me downtown to cover the L.A. Clergy Cases almost daily when I got off work. 
In those months I became the only news source covering most of the hearings while close to a thousand pedophile priest lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and San Diego went through L.A. Superior Court in 2007. 
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There were other perfect storms connected to production of City of Angels Blog, so many that for a while there, I really thought angelic intervention was making things happen. 
Actually I'm still not sure…  
It was a perfect storm connected to the other perfect storm that caused me to know how to do a blog in the first place. 

Earlier in 2006, I had tried to create one at blogger dot com and it was too difficult.  Then in December that year, Google purchased Blogger and created Blogspot with a dashboard that made blogging very easy.  Also, in 2006 all those TV production crews on strike were doing blogs, which I went to daily for updates.  They already knew how to post videos, live feeds of events, links to other blogs, and were going at it during the strike, and I soon became fascinated by how a blog could be a powerful tool as a means of communication.  
So, since Google created a new dashboard in late 2006,  I was able to create Cityof Angels Blog 3 in January 2007, with a laptop I got for being unemployed during the writers’ strike using techniques I learned from striking writers, And I started going to hearings in L.A. Superior Court downtown.

More perfect storms soon followed.

One afternoon after a hearing, the judge overheard me ask his clerk how to access the documents in all these lawsuits, and next day the clerk approached me to say, here is how to access the documents.  I followed his instructions, went in the little ground floor room with my laptop, which was loaded with transcription software (I do transcription for TV shows for  living). So I was able to copy at great speed the documents that had been filed in several of the 660 cases that remained in L.A. County, the San Diego cases having split to go south.
I really went to town in that little room  and even created the expression “document diving,” posting some really revealing information straight up to City of Angels Blog 3.  But within weeks the Superior Court media office decided to close off the room, and I was never able to access the documents again.  Soon the whole Clergy Case operation was moved to a courthouse in a different part of town that was hard for me to get to on the bus.  In order to to read the documents in that courthouse, one had to pay a good amount of dollars per page and have them printed.
So there was just that short period, that short perfect storm, several months at the most, where I was able to document dive and publish all kinds of documents exposing all kinds of crimes carried out by the Archbishop of Los Angeles in covering up the crimes of pedophile priests.
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In fact there are perfect storms connected to the entire breakthrough of the pedophile priest crime stories, going back to the nineteen eighties.
Personally, before 1994, I thought I had imagined the incident with Father Horne-y.  For years I believed that St. Michael the Archangel came to me in the woods when I was 5-6 years old and did this AMAZING thing to me with his fingers between my legs.  From that age on I was determined to share that wonderful thing with everyone I met and boy did I get in trouble.  My sexuality from age six to, well, the present got me ostracized, hated, kids weren’t allowed to play with me, wives were gunning for me after what I did with their husbands. To this day at age sixty eight, my sexuality is a problem in that I'm not able to take part at all.  Because until 1994 I was so dysfunctional, today I just don’t even try.
In 1994 I found out the incident with Father Horne (aka Father Horne-y) was not Michael the Archangel and was not my imagination, it really happened.  I learned through a phone conversation with a long estranged sister.  I found out Father Horne-y had gotten to her as well. 

Probably the most important perfect storm of them all:

In the 1990s, the home computer came out
Then the internet got connected to home computers
And I just happened to live in San Francisco where the dot com bubble was imploding and lots of small businesses were closing.  Therefore, I was able to buy a second hand computer cheap, like a hundred dollars.  The dot com businessman, desperate to liquidate and get out of town, even came over to our home in the Lower Haight to show me how to hook up to the internet.
That afternoon I went online and found other pedophile priest victims around the country.

In fact, in writing about this issue, there have been so many miracles, or perfect storms, or angelic interventions, that for a while there I started to think God arranged it all.
Arranged it so that right after the story came out on in the late 1980s On A Few TV Shows, This Very Democratic Communication Source had been invented, so that survivors could use it to keep evil powers from preventing release of the truth.
Okay, maybe I am going too far.
But think of it.
It makes sense  
As soon as the first survivor appeared on Oprah Winfrey, the church went to work creating a way to keep the mainstream world from finding out about these crimes in their entirety.
Thanks to the internet the church was not able to control the release of the story, at least not able to for that short period of time. 
Since the nineties, corporate and other powers have found ways to prevent information from being released as easily as it was when the World Wide Web first became available to civilians.
If survivors went online looking for other survivors today, most of what they’d find is corporate controlled websites. 
However, in those first years of the internet, the nineties through about 2010, the internet was just enough of a free for all to get past the powers of the Catholic Church and get out to the public at least some of the truth about the pedophile priests.
Enough of the story of this epidemic of crimes against children came out to show the guilt of the monsignors, bishops, and even popes.  How humans react to that information, not even God or any powers can control.

Another perfect storm in my story: 

There I was in 1994, bloated recovering from several addictions, in my mid forties, fifty pounds overweight, going to A-A meetings finally sober for more than two years, when I started remembering things and made that phone call to my sister. That was was another part of the perfect storm for me. I was sober for the first time in my life so able to think things through enough to call my sister. Almost all my life I've been estranged  from my sister, and today am estranged from her again. But that one day in 1994 I was talking to her, and I called her to ask, did anything ever happen to you with Father Horne when you were little.
And she said, Oh no, he got to you too?
And my life changed.
And it's still changing.
With that phone call, I knew I was not born a slut, but an evil priest had put those compulsions inside me, probably not even knowing that by finger banging me at age five there under the trees, he turned me into a rabid sex fiend who spent the next four decades determined to show everyone this wonderful thing he showed me.
Yes, a little dalliance on the part of a perverted priest with a little girl created a whore who destroyed families everywhere she went from puberty until depletion.
There I was at age forty-five in 1994 clean and sober for the first time in my life, my daughter turning age five, the age I was when the molestation took place. I was feeling so guilty in those days wondering why I did the things I did. And then with Oprah Winfrey and a phone call to my sister, I suddenly had an explanation.
And a home computer and a man who hooked me up to the internet for the first time
All for the first time ever. All in a few months time.
In the early nineties, I went online searching for other persons who’d been molested by Catholic priests and found the first chat rooms, called a “listservs.” As a public service, universities let ordinary people use their newly installed internet servers to communicate, sharing this wonderful democratic new communication tool.  I found a listserv for pedophile priest victims who were members of a group called The Linkup and started chatting every night as addicted then as people get now when they first get online.

A series of perfect storms. 

Today everything on the internet seems to be corporate managed and the small voices are barely heard, except for within small groups of other small voices.  However, in the 1990s, we were able to get some great things done during that one small window of time, that perfect storm.
Without the internet, pedophile priests probably would still be free to do what they want and the bishops would still be hiding them. For centuries, the church was able to hide these crimes and act astonished when victims came forward in one city after another, insisting it was an isolated case that never happens ever anywhere else in the church.
Could be that God, or The Arranger, Creator, Goddess, whatever, knew there would be this one short fast opportunity to get out the truth, get past the powers, and get as much of the truth out as possible before the powers took control again.
The internet is not the democratic sharing free-for-all it was in the nineteen nineties.
For that short period, we slipped past the guards and found each other through this tool, then used this tool to make it so public that the church could no longer deny the pedophile priest crimes. They diverted our attention, pointed at other places, “Public school teachers do it, Baptists do it!” but the truth still came out.
So is it that weird to think God or some Higher Power arranged for the internet and home computer to come out just after television shows about the crimes, so humans, at least a few of us, would grab hold of those tools and get past the guards and expose these crimes?
I don't think so.

Posted by Kay Ebeling
Producer, City of Angels Blog
Not just L.A., the city of angels is everywhere

*** The guy from the L.A. Times would only stay for five minutes into a hearing, then get up and leave because the Phil Spector murder trial was going on up the street, where reporters were not even allowed in the courtroom. Still the L.A. Times reporter believed that being one of hundreds of “journalists” waiting to write down the three or four words said into a microphone during breaks in the Phil Spector murder trial, and then reporting the exact same words as every news outlet in town, was more important than the thousand civil cases going through Superior Court in early 2007 about pedophile priests molesting thousands of children in the region. 

Personal Post Script: To this day I think I was kept alive through several scenarios in my life where I shouldhave ended up dead so that I would be in L.A. the year the month and the day that about a thousand lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles were going through Superior Court and no other reporter was paying attention. 

I think I was kept alive to do this blog


And I'm still here.



-ke
.

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