The first time it happened, I was stunned. In 2012 I was embroiled in the experience of being a pedophile priest victim discovering there were hundreds of thousands of us all over the world. One day I went down to the mail room where residents in the senior housing complex where I lived gathered during the day to chat and someone asked me what I’d been doing, I said “writing on my blog.” I said “I'm one of the pedophile priest victims and I've been writing about those crimes now for about five years.” A guy near me rolled up next to me in his wheelchair and with a scowl and a sneer growled at me, “That never happened.” Then in an authoritative tone of voice he repeated things he’d heard and read, that there were not more than one or two errant priests, that the victims who came forward with decades old pedophile claims were just out to destroy the church and get money from lawsuit settlements.
I stammered, No, I've been researching and writing about this now for years, I know dozens of the victims, look at this web site and this web site where you can read about us and the thousands of priests who’ve been exposed. Type in “bishop accountability dot org” and read about thousands of perpetrator Catholic priests in the database, from A to Z. He would not listen. He was already certain that the pedophile priest survivor movement was a hoax. The other residents in the mailroom watched us and listened and said nothing.
Now as I watch the Alex Jones defamation trial, I can't help thinking how similar my situation is to these people testifying today. I've since moved three times, to three different senior housing complexes, and finally learned that it's best if I just don’t tell anyone I'm a pedophile priest victim or I'll have to move again. I've been bullied, harassed, chased around a building, a live bat was let loose to fly around my apartment before I started locking the door all the time. I've heard those same words from sweet looking senior citizens who suddenly become like vipers, “That never happened.” “Those stories in the news are all exaggerated.” “There were only a few priests and all they did was touch a child on the shoulder.” "Those people are just out to destroy the church."
I'm not narcissistic enough to think my experience is as important as what the Alex Jones defamation plaintiffs are describing, where total strangers claim the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 was a hoax, that the murdered children never existed. But it does seem significant that we share a side effect of this era of disinformation in the USA, causing the most innocent persons to withdraw from society, hide behind our doors, avoid intimate conversations with persons we meet. The bullies are in charge, the liars and maligners with mysterious agendas are winning the information war.
I now live in my fourth senior housing complex in ten years, after bullying and harassment incidents got so bad I had to move from the previous three, soon after I let it slip that I was a pedophile priest survivor. Now I don't mention my blog about predator Catholic priests to anyone, I don't even let people I meet know my last name so they can't google me.
There's a knock on my door just now. My blood pressure rises, I freeze in fear. I'll just stay quiet in here until whoever it is goes away…