Congratulations on your article, Jo. Now that you and yours are officially diagnosed, maybe you could spare a thought for your remaining in-laws, who miss all of you terribly.
Then there are the princesses in Dubai, and Saudi. The myth-busting needs to extend world-wide. Yes it’s true that being privileged carries advantages, but this should never be at the price of freedom.
And still my allegations are being ignored. As I say in my blog: "Ok. So what's the difference?"
I wish that the 26 billionaires who own half the planet's wealth were obliged to convene a meeting; one that should last until this mess is sorted out.
Our Government chooses to do nothing because it can. The weak and powerless in our society occasionally become evident when someone acts out, like the kids who started the fires. When people become important again, things might change in this miserable country.
It's yet another arena in which the powerful in this country subjugate the marginalised.
My abuser, still alive after a 70 year offending career, has been described as "a living legend", a "national treasure" and "one of the most revered church musicians in Australia". I have received a small measure of justice from the institutions that employed him. He remains in denial about what he did to me and other children. His supporters also remain in denial. How dare I question his revered status! His gifts are considerable, and seem to have earned him a place above the law in this country.
Here's how I was groomed at 17. The teacher was feared and known for sarcasm. In addition the location was extremely isolated and away from any supervision that ought to have been in place, since my abuser's reputation was well known by 1969. His manner was stern. Many students left lessons in tears. I was afraid of him. When I hadn't done my homework he harshly criticised me for wasting his time. I started crying and he immediately transformed into a comforting father figure. He then got to know me, gradually, until a few weeks' later it was full on. Among the first remarks he made concerned his own daughters. He said he would be glad if they had someone to confide in. By then he had worked out that I didn't talk to my parents. My father was usually out at meetings and my mother and I did not get along. I told my friend from school. I thought I had been set apart and privileged. I thought I was lucky that he was not being cruel and sarcastic to me. Instead he wove tales around the music, and since I had no knowledge of the kind of evil he perpetrated, I mistook it for love. As the archbishop I talked to replied to my comment that I believed my abuser was in love with me: "Well don't you think he might have been"? It took years of therapy to understand what happened, and I'm still unable to get my head around his continued denial. I heard a few years ago that he had been molested as a child, by the person who held the same position he now occupied. I forgave him long ago. What I can't forgive is the cover up. The fact that the story of a 12 year old victim, that I was advised of by an official enquiry, was so viciously trashed, by way of destroying the vocation, marriage and health of her son. That is unforgiveable.
Yes it does. It has the ring of truth. That sound can be heard all over the world, where victims of powerful men are still waiting for justice. How hard do you think it is for someone who blamed themselves for their abuse (all children do) and allowed themselves to be coerced into lying about it to protect their abuser, to then admit they didn't tell the real story? It can take decades for victims of child abuse to come forward. They experience a toxic mixture of shame and disgust at themselves for 'allowing' the abuse to happen. They experience mixed feelings towards the abuser. It is not black and whilte. Furthermore, I can't think of a single case of child sexual abuse where the abuser had not themselves been the victim of a paedophile in their own childhood. This problem won't disappear from society until truth telling can happen without wowsers reacting with predictable outrage.
It's taken so long, hasn't it? In my own case, I've waited 50 years for one of the institutions where my abuser worked to accept their responsibility for my grooming and abuse in my first weeks at university. I was 17. He was 39. Much later one of the official enquiries sent me a copy of a phone memo from the son of a 12 year old victim of the same man; she died not long after she disclosed her abuse. The son's vocation, marriage and health have all been destroyed by powerful individuals in the Church and by the abuser himself. The police in my State have never wanted to challenge my abuser. He has links with so many of the powerful, including members of the Police Complaints Tribunal. He would be around 90 years of age now. I am in my late 60s. I live for the day he admits to what he did to me, and to the 12 year old victim whose son's life was destroyed because he spoke out.
Ah, the good old bottom line. It still ensures sickeningly high levels of wealth in 1% of people, while the other 99% can only look forward to being in more pain for more time. Anyone with undeserved and undue amounts of money should feel ashamed after seeing this story. Tragically, the sociopaths who are in power don't feel empathy. I am sick of reading about the material success of those who play the system in one way or another, and the increasing inequality everywhere. I do not identify as Christian, but like the line in the bible where Jesus said "Inasmuch as you do it to the least of my brothers, you do it to me". Every rich bastard should be made to experience this woman's pain, and the pain of the poor and ignored everywhere.
As distressing as the original harrassment and abuse is, it is even more distressing when the individuals and institutions involved maintain their denial, and insist on continuing the cover-ups because they are so afraid of reputational damage.
This is actually the third comment I have submitted. How does one win the chance to comment? Is it a lottery?
The British (and Australian) elites have always been very good at sweeping things under the carpet, keeping a 'stiff upper lip' and behaving like depraved idiots behind closed doors and in organ lofts. What the perpetrators of this hideous hypocrisy don't realise is the pain they have inflicted on so many innocent lives, particularly children's lives.
Someone really should ask Dr Reina Michaelson about his father!