If you have "no place to go," come here!

Will Dr. Alice Miller please pick up the white courtesy phone?

No, not Abu Ghraib. Residential schools run by the Catholic Church in Ireland:

“Punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods, made to sleep outside overnight, being forced into cold or excessively hot baths and showers, hosed down with cold water before being beaten, beaten while hanging from hooks on the wall, being set upon by dogs, being restrained in order to be beaten, physical assaults by more than one person, and having objects thrown at them.”

Oh, there's plenty more. The report is 2,600 pages long.

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lexia's picture
Submitted by lexia on

You anti-Catholic or sumpin?

I can post over and over again about the danger and the proven record of violence of the authoritarian, childless male ruled, largest religion on earth, and all most people have to say is that's just prejudice against Catholics.

I'm glad to see yet another instance of violence perpetrated and excused by the Catholic Church called out. Here's hoping it will do some good.

Submitted by lambert on

Many generations, and in a deeply Catholic country. It must have been going on in James Joyce's time, too, I can't see how not. Yet that ultimate transgressor says nothing. It's enough to make me say, OK, the Sky Gods, the testesterone thing, time to let that go as far as authority goes. Just appalling. I'm totally ashamed of my sex, or gender, or whatever it is. This just seems so, as it were, seminal. A well of horror.

lexia's picture
Submitted by lexia on

hormone or chromosome or even an allele caused this - they just happen to be the irrational divide, like skin color in other religions, along which this organization has decided to divide the world into rulers and ruled. I think it's the absolute authoritarianism, which allows the "othering" of half the human race, which leads to a complete lack of empathy with and a reflexive blaming of the victims, that allowed this to happen.

The perpetrators in this case and those in authority are also childless, by church law, so they would not even have the normal empathy of parenthood. That same othering that conflates women with the human trait of sexuality and condemns both, also considers children to be evidence of the sin of sex. Both mother and newborn child (but not the poor tempted father) had to be "churched" in the U.S. as recently as the 1960s, because of the unclean sex of which the child was evidence.

This kind of lunacy can happen where an organization selects some irrational physical attribute to define who is truly human, shoves all the parts of being human it doesn't like onto those without power or even a voice, must enforce that at all costs and has the absolute control over people's lives to do so. Where the organization that does this is the also the government, abuse on this scale is likely to occur.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

except in terms of time, Lambert. Surely the damage done to psyche and body is little to no different?

Yes, this was the Catholic Church. But we've known for years it perpetrated horrors -- burning witches, among other forms of misogynistic, narrow-minded authoritarianism -- haven't we? Or have we just not thought it was real?

And don't get me started on Rulon, Warren, et al, 'cause I've just finished working up a post to get me over the not-fun-at-all adrenaline roller-coaster that fueled my reply to the "men get raped too" comment earlier today.

Look, here it is. Those in power will abuse those not in power, because they can and they want to and they have the means to make the rest of the world swallow their behavior.

Do you need a more immediate or horrific example than Gitmo? I don't. Do we need to make a qualitative or quantitative difference between what a President and Vice President of the United States ordered done to (thousands, probably) of brown people, and what priests, prophets and imams have ordered done to (hundreds of millions, over millenia) of those under their boots? I don't.

It's torture. It's a terrorist tactic: "if you don't xxxx, yyyy will zzzz you." If you don't stay home at night, the bad guy will rape you. If you don't stay off drugs, you'll go to prison and be raped. If you don't tell me what I want to know, I'll rape your wife and children while you watch. It's all one piece -- power run amok.

Whether those who do it "in the name of God" claim some connexion to divinity (or some mantle of divine protection) or not, the agenda they're forwarding isn't Christ's (or from what the Quran literally says, Mohammed's either).

It's not about peace, not about love, not about morality, not about justice, not about righteousness, not about equality, not even about, in the hard dark place where the festering pustule originates, about sex.

It's about power -- the demonstration thereof upon the flesh of a chosen (or many chosen) "others" dehumanized according to propaganda older than written history, rottener than soldiers' rag-sweated combat sox, more ingrained than any vestige of courtesy, let alone civilization. It's something so dark I don't even have a name for it. Some call it paternalism; some call it authoritarianism; some call it religion.
None of those names come close to touching the sheer evil that it is, lambert. It has as many faces as a Presidential candidate, a television pundit, a historian, or a common criminal can paint on humanity.

No, it's not unique to males. For a little while, in the sixties and seventies, maybe, some strides toward throwing off the yoke of it were being made, by a handful of outspoken women (and the men who loved and supported their idealism). But in point of fact it's far more often in men's hands, used and approved, encouraged and enjoyed, by men.

How to stop it I don't know.

lexia's picture
Submitted by lexia on


CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Some fan put together this introduction.

Here's Part 1. I'm not sure I'll watch it. I think I get the basic idea and I doubt a closer look will cheer me up any.

Submitted by cg.eye on

saying that it was in the past, that compensation funds exist, and that what is done is being done. It's that there is no sense of Truth and Reconciliation, here.

In fact the Church sued and won the right not to have any name associated with this abuse disclosed -- not one priest, nun or victim will be named in the report, ever. And then the compensation fund only pays once the claimant releases the church from any hope of prosecution. And don't think they were being all-forgiving on sinners; they routinely turned in abusers who had no relationship with the church.

This is evil in action.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Richard Dawkins is soooooo annoying!

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It wasn't all rapes and beatings. Sometimes they took a moment out for some soothing, ineffectual talk before the rapes and beatings continued.

But the commission said that victims also recalled kindnesses by priests, nuns or lay employees: "Many emphasized the enormous difference that just a kind word or gesture made to their daily lives."

Hey, that's better than Job got!

Submitted by gob on

-- to me that was the worst thing in the whole article. It told me just how starved these people were for a crumb of human kindness.

ClareA's picture
Submitted by ClareA on

Well does this mean that what liberals call "torture" is often-accepted means of discipline? So, are they going try these people for war crimes?

Unfortunately I've become so used to media manipulation that I'm wondering why this has come to light at the same time that torture is being discussed in the U.S.
"Oh, it's nothing worse than you'd get at an Irish Catholic Girl's School."