Saturday, December 22, 2007

Are serial molesters targeting the Catholic priesthood? SEE ADDENDUM

[Late insight: the word "incurable" that goes with child molester should tell us that molesting is not something you pick up from being attempting to be celibate, nor from being homosexual. This is something that obviously has deep roots in the perpetrator's earliest development.]

SEE ADDENDUM

One out of 14 Catholic priests is -- not a just pedophile, just a molester, but a serial-molester?! This is such an unlikely mathematical distribution (especially spread over a giant sample of tens of thousands of priests nationwide) that serial-molesters must be deliberately targeting the job; not developing from inside the priesthood out.

Probably not even 1 out of 14 pedophiles is a molester. I have been spotting men and boys since I was a boy (good psychological detective, me -- used to spot pickpockets half way down crowded NYC subway platforms when I wasn't looking for them) -- first time when a younger boy on my paper route hinted to me between the lines (would sound like a blatant proposal today, but was so unthinkable at that time -- the Advise and Consent era -- it was supposed to go right over my head if I were not "sophisticated") about what he was doing with some old man for money.

I've been spotting the same thing everywhere I go ever since (never tell -- because never non-consensual). The trade off tends to be like that between a younger woman and an older man: one has the young body; the other has the expensive toys and a place of his own to play.

Pedophiles attracted to girls? See all those guys getting caught on the MSNBC show -- and similar reports in the newspapers? It's just about all consensual isn't it? Except for pedophiles who get caught on jobs working with children: back to targeting.

Indeed, what might have partially lead the bishops to unrealistic hopes in the reformability of priest offenders may have come from their experience with typical (as in non-serial molesting) pedophiles in the confessional box -- not realizing (if I am right) that they were dealing with a more singular phenomenon.

The Church ought to commission a deep study of this kind of personality so it can reliably spot them ahead of time (spotting rapists, not gays: gays see overweening ego exclusively in females, instead of in males: tend to be "dismissive " of the male ego -- no big mystery there). If I am right, more are burrowing their way into the priesthood right now -- making such proactive research as much a moral imperative as dealing responsibly with offenses in the aftermath.

Being a gay priest does not correlate with being a molester (or even a sinner: Fr. Andrew Greeley does sociology pretty well and reports that 3 out of 4 gay priests are celibate which he compares with 4 out of 5 straight).

It takes a lot longer to become a priest than it does to get a job as a basketball coach so the motivations of these guys must be very interesting -- are they delusional about their religious commitment or what? They strike me as loners; could the loner aspect of the job as well as the prospect of relating to adults from behind a wall of abstract authority appeal to some of their missing marbles? Time to get cracking to find out exactly what.

ADDENDUM
Since I began spamming the "eighth-grade math" insight above to Catholic addresses all over the country, I actually began researching the problem a little (began reading the 2002 book, Goodbye! Good Men). Seems the heart of the problem may be that we are force feeding likely predators down seminary throats (reminds of live geese being force fed grain to prepare for cooking).

What I read doesn't reassure me that even fair psychological testing is up to winnowing out these guys -- anything but. Prejudiced (by Catholic standards) testing being (SUPER) UN-sophisticated enough to find orthodox believing Catholic men to be the sexually maladjusted signals a lack of a sufficiently worked out "science."

Here as in another science that is not worked out, economics, higher intelligence and heavier common sense may be more of a help than so-called higher theoretical training -- why psychiatrists often make better therapists than psychologists.

Since adherence to unorthodox (to us) religious concepts seem to be opening the flood gates here, the first logical remedy may be to institute just the opposite in all vocation screening (using only devout Catholic shrinks? -- sounds like a very good idea).

I would have been one to accept homosexual men into the priesthood (as long as they are celibate of course). But after reading as far as partying type homosexuals seemingly hijacking the Jesuits, at least in California -- DEFINITELY targeting; if not necessarily for molesting -- and seemingly in many other milieus across the country, I begin to think that barring homosexuals as a general rule may be the only way to take this segment of the priesthood back to the church (perhaps making exception for the exceptionally devout -- I am sure there are may of them in the closet).

The Jesuit seminary abuse stories put a caveat in my "too unlikely" 1 in 14 theory. Males in positions of power in any venue have a serious probability of taking advantage of underlings. The seminary stories gave me this idea -- but it could apply to adults in charge of children too.

If bishops are not sufficiently interested in closing off the (if I am right) still wide open molester pipeline for the sake of protecting children -- perhaps they should consider cleaning things out before they are forced to auction off St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Last thing for now: if dioceses that prohibit altar girls have a big drop in vocations -- and this does not simply coincide with their being unorthodox overall -- and the reason for the drop may be because fewer boys are exposed to the altar, it is possible to include more boys while keeping the girls at the same number while explaining the reason. At this stage in our civilization it is almost a scandal (in the relative sense) to prohibit girls.

So much for today; I'll probably spend a month before I come up with another good spam.

6 comments:

Father Schnippel said...

I'd like to see where you get that statistic: 1 of 14

Denis Drew said...

I confess (no pun :-]) that by the time I was jolted by the insight from the 1 in 14 number I had forgotten where I saw it -- did not do any check on the number either; seemed to jibe with unbelievably endless reports -- anyway I was only sending it to Catholic addresses at that point so no big harm.

I checked this morning -- in response to your query -- and found that estimates range from 1.6% based on dividing complaints over 40 years when victims have not been complaining for 40 years (victims suffering today may not report for decades) and ignoring the percentage of priests who do not work with the public -- to -- over 10% by news outlets who tend to see religious people (especially prolifers) as "wingnuts".

"...damned lies and statistics."

I'll take 3000 civil cases since 1984 as solid -- reported by Fordham Law Journal I believe [ http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-520102_ITM ].

You can do your own adjusting. I see this number as establishing 1 in 14 as credible, if possibly to the high side.

Denis Drew said...

MY RESPONSE TO A THOUGHTFUL EMAIL:

I have to seriously have to wonder what your psychologists understand about these guys. Not a shrink myself -- a cabdriver -- was approved for training to become a shrink once under the very odd auspices of the New York Office of Vocational (not vocation :-]) Rehabilitation, in 1975, when I was out with a bad back (out again now). One reason I didn't go through with it is that I suspected they didn't know as much as I would want to know -- that they might be a hundred years behind physical medicine.

In the late 70s while working with some boys in the Bronx I figured out a couple of things by myself that I am not sure they know. One: that homosexuals see the male ego in women and NOT in men was simple and easy -- had a gay kid living with me for a year.

What motivated juvenile delinquency was trickier. My brother's shrink who I was consulting (I make a federal project out of everything) told me that this kid would quit his criminal activity "for me." Actually the kid said that to me once.

It actually works like this: boys are in the emotionally dependent stage until 18 1/2, for all practical purposes as much as if they were 12 -- at which 18 1/2 year point, this seems to fade over a weeks time as close as I can observe -- like a light switch. The gay kid went to 19 years, 2 months (for reasons understood which I wont go into) and it switched off like a light bulb.

If they think nobody cares about them, they literally wont care about themselves: ergo, no penalty can deter them from crime. Maybe they wont get in trouble if no bad influence prods them; but if it does they will certainly go.

This is easier to understand at 12 -- also easier to understand at 12 would be that, whether they are the most neglected kids on earth or merely out of control of a loving guardian (as in out of reach) at what New York police call the "vinegar pissing" stage, they get just as completely crazy: I call it being "hysterically alienated."

[This is all very esoteric and very unexpected.]

Cure [gets crazier here]: unlike the decades of positive socialization needed to reduce the paranoia that underlies severe alcohol or heroin abuse -- only 5-6 weeks of intensive attention (at least an hour a day), DURING WHICH THE CRIME DOES NOT ABATE ONE PERCENT, results in a seemingly new personality (you have not met before) waking up one day ("Invasion of the Body Snatchers syndrome").

Do your shrinks know this much about delinquency or my version of homosexuality? Maybe you'd better ask them. If they do not, I seriously question whether they can pick out a coming serial abuser. It may take some really top guys to make a really ground breaking study.

As far as your glass house: I read One Day In the Live of Ivan Denisovich when it came out and it presented the worst prison in the worst police state on earth -- and the inmates still ran the institution. The "children of the light" are not supposed to be so bright in relation to their own generation according to the Man who was always right -- I'm not so sure you are capable of keeping up with the bad guys either.

Some ground breaking research may really needed to be develop a reliable ability to detect.
*******************
PS. If this ends with homosexual priests being barred from the seminary (assuming that is the only sure way to eliminate the abusers) it might be of interest to them (should be anyway -- to you too) to know that, these days, going AC/DC is very feasible -- not the big switch; that's Rubik's Cube, pulling everything apart and putting it back together -- but AC/DC is feasible. Again, you'll have to ask your shrinks for details.

Denis Drew said...

Since I began spamming the "eighth-grade math" insight above to Catholic addresses all over the country, I actually began researching the problem a little (began reading the 2002 book, Goodbye! Good Men). Seems the heart of the problem may be that we are force feeding likely predators down seminary throats (reminds of live ducks being force fed grain to prepare for cooking).

What I read doesn't reassure me that even fair psychological testing is capable of winnowing these guys out -- anything but. Prejudiced (by Catholic standards) testing being (SUPER) UN-sophisticated enough to find orthodox believing Catholic men to be the sexually maladjusted signals a lack of a sufficiently worked out "science."

Here as in another science that is not worked out, economics, higher intelligence and heavier common sense may be more of a help than so-called higher theoretical training -- why psychiatrists often make better therapists than psychologists.

Since adherence to unorthodox (to us) religious concepts seem to be opening the flood gates here, the first logical remedy may be to institute just the opposite in all vocation screening (using only devout Catholic shrinks? -- sounds like a very good idea).

I would have been one to accept homosexual men into the priesthood (as long as they are celibate of course). But after reading as far as partying type homosexuals seemingly hijacking the Jesuits, at least in California -- DEFINITELY targeting; if not necessarily for molesting -- and seemingly in many other milieus across the country, I begin to think that barring homosexuals as a general rule may be the only way to take this segment of the priesthood back to the church (perhaps making exception for the exceptionally devout -- I am sure there are may of them in the closet).

The Jesuit seminary abuse stories put a caveat in my "too unlikely" 1 in 14 theory. Males in positions of power in any venue have a serious probability of taking advantage of underlings. The seminary stories gave me this idea -- but it could apply to adults in charge of children too.

If bishops are not sufficiently interested in closing off the (if I am right) still wide open molester pipeline for the sake of protecting children -- perhaps they should consider cleaning things out before they are forced to auction off St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Last thing for now: if dioceses that prohibit altar girls have a big drop in vocations -- and this does not simply coincide with their being unorthodox overall -- and the reason for the drop may be because fewer boys are exposed to the altar, it is possible to include more boys while keeping the girls at the same number while explaining the reason. At this stage in our civilization it is almost a scandal (in the relative sense) to prohibit girls.

So much for today; I'll probably spend a month before I come up with another good spam.

Denis Drew said...

From further reading in Good Bye! Good Men I get the idea that homosexual men may find the priesthood very attractive because it offers the opportunity to have a version of a family ("more brothers and sisters") and also may offer a way to stay in the closet without keeping up an eternal act of some kind. Also, the priesthood can offer what looks like a comfy life style for the unattached (to a female) male: unattached males all being bums (as I like to put it), all are pretty much satisfied to live SRO with a wide-screen and decent transportation.

No problem with all this per se -- though it doesn't make for the most highly motivated priest, it could be acceptable per se.

The problem in actual practice is -- I think, judging from the reports of rampant promiscuity and from the perspective of 63 years old (sort of know how the world works) -- that the frequency of devoutness (as in obeying the sixth and ninth commandments) may be no higher in these priests than in the population as a whole: a distinct minority?

Which brings us back to unorthodox so-called "screening" of new priests -- which not only targets the most devout priests for disposal -- but which fills the pipeline with just as many gay party types as wish to show up.

Makes you wonder what kind of priesthood we have left by now. A heavily spending (stealing) party type was just relieved at my parish (and sent to jail, I believe). You don't catch the ones who keep it under better control than he did.
*****************
I don't know how much good the recent vetting of seminaries accomplished going by the book's portrayal of the previous almost useless check.

The only way anybody may be able to find out would be a method made available to us by the internet age: somebody out there (author of Goodbye?) has to put up a web site (a Google blogspot like mine can be set up by any boobus - - like me) on which complaints at any seminary can be posted for the world to see.

When I worked as a clerk in the NYC Dept. of Buildings in the early 70s, there was no discipline at all (I resumed my high school practice of missing a day a week and arrived as much as an hour late w/o even having to attend the Lost Weekend Club [I used to say "I was president on the basis of seniority"]). In my section of the department we tended to take 2 hour lunches -- until the office manager posted a lunch hour schedule for each employee where everybody could see. That was enough to rein us all in to 1 hour lunches.

Posting unorthodox vetting of devout SEMINARIANS, not to mention sexual come-ons that would get you fired (by federal law or the firm faces law suits) in any 2007 office situation would provide the all necessary ammunition for all in the Church who want to take back the priesthood -- and constitute a one-stop deterrence to all who wished to reopen the party pipeline.

As for gay recruits: it is easy enough for a real pro to know who is gay and who is straight (ac/dc can be much trickier -- but ac/dcs don't need to hide in the priesthood closet and tend to get caught up with females). Recruits who are gay will have to establish themselves as being certainly of the devout class -- given the ridiculous abuses that arise otherwise.

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