Thursday, May 28, 2015

Arrested Catholic Archbishop’s computer contained over 100,000 images of children

via Raw Story:

Vatican detectives analyzing a computer used a by an archbishop arrested earlier this week discovered over 86,000 pornographic photos and 160 sexually explicit video files of children, reports the International Business Times. According to investigators, another 45,000 pictures had been deleted. ormer Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, 66, was arrested at the Vatican earlier this week on charges that he paid to have sex with minors when he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2012. Wesolowski is the first Vatican official to be arrested within the city state on charges of pedophilia. The former archbishop was recalled to Rome by the Vatican last year while still a diplomat in Santo Domingo and relieved of his duties following accusations from Dominican media that he was paying for underaged sex partners.

Until earlier this week, he had been free to roam Rome, but is now being held in in a small room in the basement of the Collegio dei Penitenzieri, which hosts the Vatican’s court and military police. Vatican authorities are now investigating if Wesolowski was part of a network of pedophiles and whether he abused children in other posts during his career. Wesolowski previously served in South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark. If convicted, Wesolowski faces 12 years in jail in the first trial for sexual abuse to be held inside the Vatican City. His trial is expected to start in January.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Decapitated body of Brazilian journalist investigating child prostitution ring found

via The Independent:

The decapitated body of a missing blogger who was investigating a child prostitution ring has been found by police in Brazil. Evany José Metzker's body was found outside the town of Padre Paraíso, in the northeast of Brazil's southeastern Minas Gerais state. According to local media reports he had been stripped half-naked and his hands tied behind his back. His head was found 100 metres from his body. Metzger, who maintained a blog named 'Coruja do Vale' (The Owl of the Valley), was reportedly investigating a child prostitution ring operating in the area. Media rights groups, including Reporters Without Borders as well as the Minas Gerais Union of Professional Journalists, called on the Brazilian authorities to mount a "thorough" investigation into Metzker's murder...Metzger's wife, Hilma Chaves Silva Borges, was quoted by The Committee to Protect Journalists as saying that Metzker was working in a dangerous part of the country. "There are lots of murders here. I think that the motive, given the barbarity of his murder, was because he hit on something," she was quoted as saying. Brazil is the third most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America, after Mexico and Colombia, according to Reporters Without Borders. In his blog Metzger often reported on corrupt officials and politicians.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Paedophile Freemason Ran Lodge For Official UK Spy Agency

via Your News Wire:

Former secretary of the Paedophile Information Exchange (Pie), Keith Harding, who was also a known prolific paedophile, was made Worshipful Master of the Mercurius Lodge In Cheltenham in 2011. This masonic lodge has been revealed to have been set up by UK spy agency GCHQ with many of the agencies intelligence officers members. reports:

Harding was convicted of an indecent assault against four children aged eight and nine in 1958 and classified a Schedule-1 offender, which meant the offence remained on his criminal record all his life. His name was also on a list of about 400 PIE members seized by police in 1984, the year the organisation disbanded.
The Sunday Express revealed earlier this month how Harding met MPs Cyril Smith and Leon Brittan in the 1980s when he ran a north London antiques store. Thirty-five years ago he appeared alongside paedophile television presenter Jimmy Savile in a Christmas special of Jim’ll Fix It. The lodge boasts of its Government Communications Headquarters heritage on its website. A source close to Harding revealed: “The Mercurius Lodge is known as the Spies Lodge because it was set up by GCHQ and over the years many intelligence officers have become members. “These are people trained to find out sensitive information and yet none of them had any idea of Keith’s background and past convictions. “They even voted him the highest honour by making him Worshipful Master. “Keith felt the Freemasons were somewhere he finally belonged, he called them his “brotherhood”.

When he died last year, they arranged his funeral and made sure the ceremony started at midday because the time apparently has significance within Masonic ritual.” Spies displaced from London and Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, where the German wartime Enigma code was cracked, set up the Mercurius Lodge in 1957. It meets at the Grade IIlisted Cheltenham Masonic Hall, purpose-built in 1823. Harding ran the Mechanical Music Museum 10 miles away in Northleach after moving from London in 1987. In 2013, he organised a trip to the museum for Freemasons and their families. A photograph shows Harding wearing a Masonic apron, collar and medals during a ceremony a couple of years ago. The Mercurius Lodge last night declined to comment. Detectives probing historical sexual abuse allegations revealed on Wednesday they are investigating 1,433 suspects, including 135 from the entertainment industry, 76 politicians, seven sportsmen and 43 from the music industry.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Child sex abuse inquiry: Victim had teeth pulled out by nuns with pliers, royal commission hears

via ABC News:

Nuns used pliers to pull out the teeth of a child sex abuse victim at a Ballarat orphanage, and he was also locked in a dungeon known as the "horror room" and abused by a priest, an inquiry has heard. Giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Gordon Hill - now in his 70s - said he was taken to the St Joseph's Home as a three-year-old. He told the inquiry he could still remember "all the little kids getting on the bus" in 1946.

Mr Hill said he was among a group at the home known as "the Drones", children who had no-one and instead of going to school were put to work. He said he was assigned a number and a locker number, instead of a name, and did not know his own surname until he was 10 years old.

Mr Hill told the inquiry he was first abused by a priest at age five, in a dungeon-like environment he called "the horror rooms". [These particular details are consistent with another account of torture at Roman Catholic institutions.]

"I was given a drink ... I blacked out," he said. "When I woke up my genitals and bottom hurt ... I discovered bite marks. The priest told me to get out." Mr Hill said a nun had told him to go to the rooms.
"Father wants to cleanse you, 29," the nuns said to him. He said when he woke up and walked outside, "The nun was laughing. Big joke to her ... she told me to get back to work. Maybe because I was walking funny." On other occasions Mr Hill said he was strapped down naked, tied up and sexually abused. Mr Hill also described being tortured with electric shock therapy while he was tied down, with pads on his head and neck, and a catheter inserted 'so I didn't make a mess'."

He said his hair on the back of his head never grew back from where it bounced against the bed. "Sometimes I think, how the hell did I survive all that happened to me?" he said. Mr Hill began crying as he recalled the ongoing nightmares and toll the abuse had taken on his life. "I felt like an outcast, always in the background, from all the rejection I got when I was at St Joseph's," he said. "One of the last things my wife said before she died ... was that she hoped one day I could tell my story."

"Sometimes the nuns would punish us by pulling out a tooth with a pair of pliers or hitting one of us in the head with an engineer's hammer." Mr Hill told the inquiry his mouth was so sore after having his teeth removed he could not eat, so he fed his food to a mouse he made a pet of in the dungeon. He said sticks were broken across his back and he still bears the scars. "I made a mess on the floor because I was bleeding so much ... I was left in a room with a bucket behind a soundproof door. For a bed I had a concrete slab," he said. "I stayed there about a month. The nuns told me nobody wants you, nobody cares about you. You're just a nobody."

Children's homes were 'supply line' for paedophiles, says ex-minister

The Guardian:

Powerful people in the 1980s targeted children's homes that served as a "supply line" for paedophiles, a former health minister has claimed. As a former child protection manager warned that a "powerful elite" of at least 20 prominent figures carried out the "worst form of abuse", the former health minister Lord Warner described the sexual abuse of children as a "power drive". Warner, a health minister in 2003-07 who conducted an inquiry into child abuse in Birmingham in 1992, spoke out after the home secretary, Theresa May, announced a national inquiry into how the authorities may have ignored child abuse at Westminster. "It is vital that the inquiry is sufficiently comprehensive and over-arching. The important thing is to get at the truth to get at justice, to get what happened in institutions, and to get the right answers for the future. The appalling examples of child protection abuse we have seen must never be allowed to happen again."

MPs on the home affairs select committee will question Mark Sedwill, the home office's permanent secretary, on Tuesday afternoon over the loss of 114 potentially relevant files on child abuse dating back to the 1980s. Warner, a director of social services in Kent in the 1980s, said insufficient action was taken to deal with child abuse in that decade because there was "disbelief in the public mind". He said: "It is pretty distasteful stuff. Society has found it difficult to come to terms with this … We still had an air of deference about people in authority.

"A cover-up means something is very organised. I think much more of this is about people being insensitive to some of these concerns and not being as preoccupied with protecting vulnerable people – children and adults."
Peter McKelvie, a former child protection manager whose allegations about child abuse led to a police inquiry in 2012, claimed that at least 20 prominent people abused children. McKelvie told BBC2's Newsnight: "I believe that there is strong evidence – and an awful lot of information that can be converted into evidence if it is investigated properly – that there has been an extremely powerful elite amongst the highest levels of the political classes for as long as I am alive, and I am 65.

"There has been sufficient reason to investigate it over and over again, certainly for the last 30 years. There has always been the block and the cover-up and the collusion to prevent that happening."

He added: "For the first time I have got a belief that survivors will come forward and justice will be served for a lot of survivors. Unfortunately it has been left so late that a lot of the abusers are now dead.

"We are looking at the Lords, we are looking at the Commons, we are looking at the judiciary, we are looking at all institutions where there will be a small percentage of paedophiles and a slightly larger percentage of people who have known about it but have felt that in terms of their own self-interest and self-preservation and for political party reasons it's been safer for them to cover it up rather than deal with it." May said she would look at plans, backed in principle by the Labour MP Tom Watson, to require public servants to report allegations of child abuse to officials in a form of mandatory whistleblowing. A duty to report would place some form of culpability on a public official if they knowingly withheld information concerning suspected child abuse.

1,400 investigated in child sex abuse inquiry, including politicians, entertainers

via The Guardian:

Police across the country are investigating more than 1,400 men – including 261 high-profile individuals – over allegations of child abuse in the past, a senior officer running the national operation has revealed.

The scale of alleged child abuse across society – both recent and non-recent – was stark, said Ch Const Simon Bailey, who runs Operation Hydrant, the national coordinating team overseeing the various inquiries.

Figures from police forces in England and Wales published on Wednesday reveal that 1,433 men have been identified in reports of alleged abuse by victims, since the operation was set up in 2014.

Of these 216 are dead, 76 are politicians, both national and local figures, 43 are from the music industry, 135 from TV, film or radio and seven from the world of sport. The cases include recent high-profile convictions, including Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter and Max Clifford.

Hundreds of institutions have been identified by victims of non-recent abuse as places where their abuse took place. These include 154 schools, 75 children’s homes, 40 religious institutions, 14 medical establishments, 11 community groups, nine prisons or young offender institutions, nine sports venues and 28 other places including military establishments....“What we are seeing is an absolutely unprecedented increase in the number of reports that are coming forward. That has brought about a step-change in the way the police service has had to deal with this. We are rising to and meeting the challenge, this is what Operation Hydrant is about.”

Bailey said the Hydrant team was working to create a database which would try to ensure that the failures of the past – as identified in the Jimmy Savile case – would not be repeated.

During the investigation of the late Radio 1 DJ it emerged that intelligence and information, including reports of abuse, were buried in the system – in some cases to prevent leaks – which meant when individual police forces with their own allegations checked the national police computer database his name did not come up...Gabrielle Shaw, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac), said: “The scale and scope of sexual abuse of children committed in the past can often seem overwhelming. What these figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council do is to provide some degree of measure of the issue.

“And what a measure it is; prolific offenders from all spheres of society, thinking they were untouchable, abusing children and the most vulnerable in settings where they should have been safest , including schools, care facilities and religious institutions.”

Friday, May 8, 2015

California Trio Accused of Running Rogue Masonic Police Force

source: BBC, via Cryptogon:

Three people have been charged in California with impersonating law enforcement officers after claiming to operate a police department with jurisdiction in 33 states. They said they belonged to a group called the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, which they claimed dated back to the Knights Templar. One of the trio is a junior aide to California’s attorney general. Uniforms, weapons and vehicles were found in premises linked to the group. Brandon Kiel – an aide to state Attorney General Kamala Harris – David Henry and Tonette Hayes were arrested on 30 April and released later that day.

“When asked what is the difference between the Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first!” the group’s website page reads. “We are born into this Organization, our bloodlines go deeper than an application.” Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida told the Associated Press news agency that there were no indications that the group had carried out any law enforcement activities.

Priest Who Ran Meth Ring Sentenced to 5 Years

source: NBC, via Cryptogon:

A suspended Connecticut Roman Catholic priest who authorities say dealt pounds of methamphetamine and bought a sex shop intending to launder his drug money will spend another three years in prison after being sentenced on Thursday. Around 75 people were in court on Thursday to support Monsignor Kevin Wallin, 63, dubbed "Monsignor Meth" in some media reports, and the judge called it an "unprecedented" turnout for a drug trafficking sentencing. Wallin, who has already served 28 months in jail, was sentenced to five years and five months in prison. With time served, Wallin will be in prison for three more years, followed by five years of supervised release. "My shame remains intense. ... 'I'm sorry' does not convey the remorse I feel," Wallin said on Thursday. "The day I was arrested was a very good day."

In March, Monsignor Kevin Wallin's public defender filed a sentencing request for leniency in federal court in Hartford, citing Wallin's three decades of charitable service as well as more than 80 letters of support, including one from the late New York Cardinal Edward Egan. "I cannot ignore your decision to infect your community with methamphetamine," Judge Alfred Covello said. In addition to the dozens of supporters, 90 letters supporting wallin were also submitted. Wallin pleaded guilty in 2013 to a methamphetamine conspiracy charge and agreed to a potential prison sentence of 10 to 11 years, but was asking for a sentence of no more than four years in prison, followed by a year of home confinement, 500 hours of community service and drug treatment.

"The record evidence demonstrates that Kevin Wallin is an extraordinary man whose remarkable character and acts have touched thousands of people," Wallin's public defender, Kelly Barrett, wrote in the sentencing request in March. "Kevin tragically became a methamphetamine addict. He fell from grace and did criminal wrong, but has confessed his crimes and has been working hard to atone for them." Barrett wrote that Wallin's numerous accomplishments include serving as pastor of St. Peter's Parish in Danbury and the Cathedral Parish in Bridgeport, volunteering with a variety of community groups, helping found an AIDS ministry program, leading an inner city charity group, serving on the Danbury Cultural Commission and serving on the board of directors of Sacred Heart University.

Egan, who died in March, was bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000 and praised Wallin in a letter to the court. "He was outstanding in the fulfillment of his assignments and in his concern for people in need," Egan wrote. "Father Wallin was held in highest regard as a dedicated clergyman and an outstanding citizen as well." Federal prosecutors said Wallin committed serious crimes and most people convicted of conspiring to sell meth are sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

Federal investigators said Wallin had associates in California send him methamphetamine beginning in late 2008 or early 2009. By 2011, Wallin's partners were sending him one to three pounds of meth a month and Wallin was running the drug operation out of his apartment in Waterbury, investigators said. Wallin also bought the "Land of Oz & Dorothy's Place" adult video and sex toy shop in North Haven and apparently intended to launder drug proceeds that totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, federal agents said in court documents.

Wallin's two accomplices in California — Chad McCluskey of San Clemente and Kristen Laschober of Laguna Niguel — were both sentenced last year to five years in prison. Two men who helped Wallin sell drugs in Connecticut also were convicted. Kenneth Devries, of Waterbury, was sentenced to more than two years in prison and Michael Nelson of Manchester awaits sentencing. Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport, previously said Wallin is still a priest, but remains suspended from public ministry. "We're asking for prayers for him, understanding and recognizing that many people ... suffer from addiction and they lose control of their lives," Wallace said. "It's time for him to try to rebuild his life."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Chicago Jesuits hid sex crimes

via Chicago Tribune:

Internal church records released Tuesday show that Chicago Jesuits consciously concealed the crimes of convicted sex offender Donald McGuire for more than 40 years as the prominent Roman Catholic priest continued to sexually abuse dozens of children around the globe.

One letter written in 1970 by the Rev. John H. Reinke, then president of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, described McGuire's presence at the school as "positively destructive and corrosive." Instead of insisting he be removed from ministry or sent to treatment, Reinke suggested a transfer to Loyola University.

"This whole situation has been so muddy and troublesome I just wanted to get it out of my mind from time to time," wrote Reinke, who died in 2003. "Anyway, here it is, for the files and the record. … There is little hope of affecting any change. … He cannot be corrected."

The documents contributed to a $19.6 million settlement between the Jesuits and six men from four states announced Tuesday. With an average payout of $3 million per person, the amount per individual is the largest in the history of the U.S. Catholic sexual abuse crisis, the victims' lawyers said. The settlement and the documents add one more chapter to the still unfolding story of sexual abuse in the church.

While the settlement of the lawsuit against the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus doesn't name any priests accused of abusing minors who have not been previously disclosed to the public, it does name a number of Jesuit superiors who for four decades kept McGuire's crimes a secret and, the victims' attorneys said, enabled him to abuse more young men. To date, lawyers have identified 28 men who have alleged abuse by McGuire from the 1960s until 2004. Eight have filed lawsuits.

"Jesuits made choices time and time again that demonstrated willful indifference," said Jeff Anderson, the plaintiffs' attorney. "Not one Jesuit official has yet to be prosecuted for their complicity in these crimes."

The Rev. Timothy Kesicki, who as Chicago provincial leads the area's Jesuits, said in a statement that the order is "painfully aware" that it made mistakes and failed to protect children. Many steps have been implemented since 2007 to go above and beyond the policies to protect children passed by the U.S. Catholic bishops, said Jeremy Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Jesuit province. "More important, we failed to listen to those who came forward and to meet their courage in dealing with Donald McGuire as we should have," said Kesicki, who has been promoted to lead the Jesuits' national office next year. Lawyers for the victims commended Kesicki for understanding the failure of the order's leadership in protecting children.

As former spiritual director for Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, McGuire offered Roman Catholic retreats around the globe.
The first allegation of sexual abuse against McGuire or any Jesuit priest in Chicago came in the form of a lawsuit filed in 2003 by a former student at Loyola Academy. The lawsuit alleged that McGuire molested and beat the student more than 100 times in 1968 and 1969. At the time it was filed, the lawsuit also named and accused the Jesuits of failing to inform law enforcement of the boy's complaints.

The Rev. Richard McGurn, assistant to the provincial for the Chicago Jesuits at the time, said the order did not know of allegations of abuse until it received a letter from Anderson 10 days before his client filed the lawsuit. Only then did the order suspend McGuire's priestly functions, prohibiting him from doing public ministry or administering sacraments pending an investigation.

But as McGuire and the allegations against him made their way through various court systems, evidence began to mount that the Jesuits knew all along.

After a second victim from Loyola Academy came forward, Cook County authorities directed the two men to Wisconsin, where they said McGuire molested them during trips to the resort area near Lake Geneva between 1966 and 1968. Unlike Illinois' statute of limitations, Wisconsin's didn't preclude criminal prosecution. McGuire was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to seven years behind bars and 20 years of probation. Though the prison sentence was postponed pending his appeal, McGuire was jailed three times for violating his probation. Before Wisconsin authorities could have his probation revoked, federal authorities charged McGuire in 2007 with traveling internationally to engage in sexual misconduct with a minor.

That same year, more accusers — six in total — began to report that McGuire had abused them on spiritual retreats. In 2011, documents that Wisconsin prosecutors were told never existed began to surface that showed consecutive Jesuit provincials in Chicago had known the truth about McGuire for a while.

A memo in February 1991 expressed concern about a boy from Anchorage, Alaska, who traveled with McGuire and slept in the same room during a retreat in California. "This travel business is at least very imprudent, perhaps much more serious," wrote the Rev. Robert Wild. He could not be reached for comment.

Another memo, dated April 1993, documented a call from the Rev. Joe Fessio, reporting that McGuire had been accompanied by several young men in Russia, "one of whom he was taking showers with and reading hard pornography." Fessio reportedly contacted the boy's father and "asked him to keep this quiet until he could represent this to McGuire's provincial."

Fessio could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In 1995, the Rev. Francis Daly, then acting provincial, wrote to McGuire after a mother copied his superiors on a memo telling him to stay away from her son. Daly could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"Let us hope that no more alleged incidents come to light," Daly wrote. "You must understand the complaints raised in these situations are serious. There must be no more. I am calling you to a prudence greater than that which you have shown in recent years."

In 1998, the Chicago Archdiocese granted McGuire permission to serve in the archdiocese based on a glowing endorsement from his superior, the Rev. Richard Baumann. "Specifically there is nothing to our knowledge in his background which would restrict any ministry with minors," Baumann wrote.

And in a letter to McGurn in October 2000, a parent reported her son's anxiety over how McGuire had treated him during a yearlong mission. McGurn could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"He cried as he told us 'he couldn't take it anymore!' He stated that Father was overwhelming him with pornographic pictures and talking to him about sexual matters at every waking moment."

With all of this in mind, lawyers amended the complaint to seek punitive damages against the order. The Jesuits and six men reached a $19.6 million settlement in January.