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Writings by survivors
Tenth Circle - a fantasy about judgement
Photo Op - a victim takes revenge
Warning: These stories come out of survivor pain, and may trigger readers. Each story has a note at the beginning to describe possible triggers.
man must be tempted at times
to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag,
and begin slitting throats."
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)
The Tenth Circle
By Vinnie N.
Possible trigger: descriptions of hell
Charlie lay in bed praying for sleep. The pain is his knee and wrist were a reminder of the day's events just like the pain in his heart was a reminder of the past year's troubles. "Who was that kid anyhow?" he asked himself. Then he told himself it didn't make a difference because the kid didn't get hurt. Earlier that day while walking back to his office from lunch, Charlie saw a pile of boxes precariously perched on the edge of a delivery truck. The truck was curbside and the boxes were about four feet off the ground. Nothing unusual about that, except they were swaying in the strong March breeze. The next thing Charlie noticed was a young boy about four or five walking along the edge of the curb toward the boxes. Just as the boy approached the boxes a strong gust of wind blew and the boxes started over. Charlie instinctively knew the outcome. He darted toward the curb, snatched the boy out from under the falling cases of canned goods, and then slipped as he tried to avoid a head on with a parking meter. Charlie managed to set the boy down as his momentum propelled him towards the sidewalk. He tried to break his fall with an outstretched hand, but the results were a bruised wrist, knee and a ruined suit. Once again, in trying to help a child, he found himself in pain. Worse was the fact that no one witnessed the event. By the time he had gotten up and inspected the damage to his knee, the child was gone. Run off to play no doubt and totally oblivious to what could have been. The only thing the truck driver saw was Charlie on the ground alongside the boxes and all he was worried about was getting sued.
After reliving the day's events, Charlie's mind turned to what was really eating at him, his son's molestation at the hands of the parish priest. He prayed "Please God! Let me know that going public wasn't a futile gesture on my part. Tell me my ego didn't get in the way of my better judgement. Tell me that it wasn't money motivating me. Let me know there is a purpose to this mortifying charade that has torn my family, my community and me apart. Most of all, tell me that my son will be all right." These were the same prayers that Charlie recited so many times as he lay in bed wrestling with sleep. Once again, as he stared at the ceiling, the litany of why started in his head. Why was the Archdiocese protecting this pedophile priest who wronged his son? Why did they keep this priest as pastor in spite of the overwhelming evidence against him? Why did the Archdiocese attack him and his family as if they were guilty for bringing this abuse to light? Why had some in his community and church turned on him? Why was this happening to him and his family? Tired of no explanation to the questions, Charlie faced the onerous task of telling his mind to shut up so he could have peace. Charlie prayed for sleep. God was prepared to grant his wish this night.
Charlie tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable position for his swollen knee. When at last he found one, the mantle of sleep quickly enveloped him. Moments later, his consciousness was transported to a strange and beautiful place where peace and tranquility seemed to permeate the land. As he walked about lush vegetation he felt the serenity that he had been seeking all his life. Walking towards him was the young boy that he had rescued earlier that day. Charlie smiled at the boy and the boy smiled back saying, "My name is Innocence." Charlie felt an overwhelming sense of peace as the boy neared him. "Come", said the boy as he reached for Charlie's hand and held it like any child would hold his own father's hand. Love and unconditional trust emanated from the child's hand and flowed through Charlie. Charlie asked in a matter of fact manner, "Where are we going?" The child just pointed in a direction and they started to walk. Innocence led Charlie to a beautiful glen filled with people radiating love. As Charlie and Innocence entered their midst, they gathered round and applauded. Two of the group walked up to Charlie and he instinctively knew who they were.
"You are Virgil and Dante aren't you?"
"Yes we are" was the reply.
"What am I doing here Dante?" asked Charlie in a surprisingly serene voice.
"The Lord has seen fit to answer your prayers and ease your pain. You will learn shortly that there is a special place for those who use God and his church to desecrate that which is closest to Him, children. Woe is upon the man who masquerades as a priest in order to fill his own lusty desires with children. His special place in hell is assured along with those who aid and abet him. Innocence has brought you to us so that we may put your mind to rest."
"What exactly becomes of the priests who violate children and more important, to those who allow it to continue?" asked Charlie.
Dante told Charlie that it was God's will that he sees these things and the time was near. He also told him to hold on to the hand of Innocence for only Innocence could protect him from the horror he was about to witness. Charlie looked down at Innocence and patted the little hand that he had been holding. At the same time, he felt the incredible strength that flowed from the child to him. Suddenly Charlie and his guides were transported to the depths of hell. Without being told, Charlie knew they in the ninth circle. The Circle reserved for those who were fraudulent against those to whom they were given a special trust.
"It is here that we will find the priests who violated the children we and the Lord hold so dear", said Virgil.
"Why weren't they mentioned in the Divine Comedy?" asked Charlie.
Dante replied, "It wasn't time. The Comedy was written to legitimize the church, not offend it"
There in the ninth circle Charlie saw Satan on his throne with Legion at his side, yet as he looked over tortured souls he saw only a few in priestly garb.
"There are not as many priests here as I expected to see," said Charlie.
"Wait", said Virgil and he turned and commanded to Satan, "In the name of God most high and holy I command you move aside and let us see the most prized of your souls."
Charlie whispered to Dante, "Why are they the most prized of his souls?"
Dante replied, " Because their acts were such abominations and next to the devil himself, no single group has brought more people to hell than these clergy.
Satan boomed, "Who is it that wishes to see my pets?"
Virgil replied, "Someone who is trying to thwart their work on earth and it is heaven's desire that he see the punishment that lies in wait for those who do not repent their actions. The Lord wishes this man to know that regardless of the outcome of the earthly courts, there is one court of justice that cannot be escaped."
With that, Satan waved his hand and the great throne he was seated on slid back revealing a tenth level of hell reserved exclusively for pedophile clergy and those who supported them. The level was ten times ten that of a football stadium and itself containing four concentric circles for various degrees of punishment.
In the outer ring were those clergy who sinned and did their harm with lecherous touches. They were surrounded by all the souls they had taken to hell because of their touching. These souls were in the form of pure and innocent children. The kind of children a pedophile would crave. There were priests surrounded by only girls and some by only boys and still others with both boys and girls. And these children were gathered around the priest in a circle. Some circles were large and others were small, but in each circle, the same scenario was unfolding. As the cleric reached out to passionately touch and caress one of these children, his hands would ignite in a bright flame and the hands would turn to ash and they would let out with such a mournful cry as not to be described. Charlie held his hands to his ears as his eyes remained riveted on the spectacle before him. And one by one in turn, the priest went round the circle trying to touch each child in his group with the same result. And after the attempted touch, the once radiant child would return to its hideous hell form. This continued until all the children that had been corrupted were touched and returned to their hideous hell form. Then all the hell forms attacked the priest tearing him asunder and the cries from the priest and his children bespoke the agony of their eternal suffering. Then the cycle repeated itself with all the children returning to their beautiful forms and the priest trying again to touch them. It was a scene that was to play out for all of eternity giving Charlie his first insight into what hell truly was.
In the second circle were those priests who had sex with children. They too were surrounded by the souls that they had set on the path to hell. Again, some were surrounded by only boys, some only girls and others by both. These were beautiful children with perfect features and completely naked, the most beautiful of children. Charlie was in awe of their exceptional beauty and he stood in horror at what he saw next. The priests in this circle grabbed a child looking to relieve his visibly aroused state, but he couldn't because there was no place to penetrate. Try as he may from every conceivable position with each child, he could not penetrate that child so he moved to the next one. The orifices of these magnificent children had been sealed and as the aroused priest tried each child his frustration grew a hundred fold. He cursed and screamed and begged and pleaded for relief, but none could accommodate him. Then when he reached the last child, all the children lined up and turned on the priest. One at a time, they recited Matthew 5, "If your right eye causes you to sin then gouge it out." Then the child would pluck out the priest's eye and each child in the group in turn took a piece of that priest saving the genitals for last. When the priest was totally dismembered and the genitals were removed, the priest returned whole and the process would continue again in an eternal cycle. With one exception though, there was a certain group of priests who left the third circle to enter the second circle after each cycle and they spent eternity bouncing back and forth between two forms of hell one worse than the other.
The third ring was the least populated, most horrific and heartbreaking for it contained the souls of those children who had committed suicide because of the abuse they had taken at the hands of priests. These were the unfortunate souls who after suffering at the hands of family and friends sought comfort in the bosom of Holy Mother Church and God. They could not cope after being betrayed by the priest from whom they sought solace. For them it was the last straw and the final confirmation that life was hopeless. Their lot consisted of children who had suffered the ultimate betrayal. These were children who had been sent to priests for bereavement counseling, because of divorce, because of alcoholism and finally those sent for religious instruction who were all abused by priests who were supposed to help. These children shared the common thread of ultimate betrayal, which led to total despair. The eyes of these children reflected their absence of hope, they were dull and lifeless. Their movements were slow and mechanical. Each had with them the means of their own end and were seated in a row in front of their violator. Most of the girls had razor blades or pills, most of the boys had ropes or guns and there were a few without anything. Charlie watched in horror, his eyes riveted on the unearthly scene as a child gave the priest the means of his or her demise and then watched the priest use it upon himself. Charlie watched the blood flow as one priest slit his wrists and he saw the priest experience the pain of the life flowing out of him. Then another took a rope, put his head in the noose and stepped off a stool. Charlie heard the snap as his neck broke and watched him writhe in agony as his face swelled while he was slowly asphyxiated by the ever tightening coil around his neck. Some priests had one child in front of him while other had as many as several and those that had multiple children had to experience each death in turn by whatever means the child had used. Then the priest was returned to the second circle.
Charlie's attention then turned to the center circle. In this circle were the enablers, the pastors, monsignors, vicars, bishops, cardinals and popes who allowed the outer circles to perpetuate while on earth. These were the hypocrites who turned a blind eye to the sins of those in the outer circles. Those who did not themselves partake, but who condoned by their action or inaction, the foul deeds of others. They were the ones that actively protected and supported those who would rape and abuse children. This was the august group who denied the existence of the problem, lied from the pulpit, railed against the innocent and allowed the carnage to continue in an effort to save God money, as if God really needs money. A variation of the color red emanated from each individual in this inner circle and it spread out encompassing all the clergy who thrived in sin under the auspices of the particular prelate. Some were responsible for only one wayward priest and his associated souls while others could have filled a stadium with those they had set on the path to hell. These hypocrites sat in front of a large mirror where they watched themselves defend the actions of pedophile priests to their victims, then to the victim's parents, the parishioners and finally to themselves. And as they watched these events in the mirror, they were joined by the souls of their congregations present in hell. When all the scenes of every pedophile defense were through, the second phase began. The prelate was forced to watch the acts of each individual he defended. One by one they showed themselves in all their lurid detail and then the souls of those priests entered his circle along with the souls of their victims. Then the third phase began. The mirror showed each victim as he or she in turn created more victims and in turn and their souls entered the circle. Charlie knew instinctively that some victims were removed by generations from the original predator, but none the less, all were branches of the same pederast. When the images stopped, the prelate stood at a pulpit and addressed the multitude of hellbound souls in his defense, "But I did this to save the church! The church is more important than a few children! I was doing God's work! Think of the scandal! It was consensual! You don't understand how difficult a priest's life is! These were children of Satan seducing my priests! Priests are only human! Think of all the money I saved the church, and think of all the good I have done with that money!" The speech was suddenly interrupted by peals of laughter. Charlie looked up for the source and saw Lucifer jabbing Legion in the side. They were doubled over with laughter and Lucifer was saying, "Good intentions, I love this part the best." Then as the speaker continued, one by one the damned souls threw coins at the speaker, and each coin tore a piece of the speaker's body off. Not a large piece, but a small piece and piece by piece the speaker was flayed alive until only his tongue was left flapping in his skeleton. When the final coin hit the tongue, Satan burst forth from it saying, "Thank you my friends for destroying the innocence of these children and planting the seeds of fear and distrust in their hearts. For with fear and distrust firmly implanted in a heart, it is almost impossible to enter the kingdom of God."
It was at that moment that Charlie learned the true nature of evil. He knew that stripping children of their innocence by using them as objects of pleasure was the true violation. By destroying trust, the fundamental building block for future relationships with other human beings and God the abuse caused a hardening of the heart. Pedophile priests were creating a condition that would or could last a lifetime. The defilement was bad enough, but being defiled by a man of the cloth generally closed the victims heart to God's love and losing God's love in life meant losing salvation. Satan, aware of Charlie's new found knowledge, flew at him and inflated himself until Charlie recoiled in fear at the unmeasurable evil that hovered above him. At that moment, he felt strength emanating from that little hand in his and as the strength flowed into him from Innocence, Satan's stature diminished until the whole scene faded and Charlie drifted off into a long awaited peaceful sleep.
Charlie awoke the next morning feeling well rested in spite of a vivid memory of the dream and a sore knee. As he slowly walked from his car to his office, he was shocked to notice the new mannequin in the store window next to his office. It looked remarkably like Innocence and at that same moment he took note of it, the mannequin winked at him. Charlie winked back as a broad smile crossed his face and a new spring entered his step.
If you shut up
truth and bury it underground it will
but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power
that the day it bursts through it will blow up
everything in its way.
By Vinnie N.
Possible trigger: descriptions of abuse and violence, church ritual
Seeing fear in a boy's eyes always excited Fr. James Genre and Tommy O'Shea had fear in his eyes as he moved around the sacristy of St. Mary's preparing for Sunday Mass. The stocky, balding, fifty-year-old priest walked over to Tommy and ran his fingers through the boy's hair in a manner suggesting something more than a casual gesture. Not limiting himself to Tommy's head, his fingers slipped down to one ear, which he tenderly caressed. Tommy stiffened like a rod because he didn't know how far Fr. Jim intended to go and feared the priest would notice the bulge in his pants pocket. When the priest reached Tommy's neck his fingers went from caressing to gripping as he said in a threatening voice, "Remember, I have the pictures." Upon hearing those words, Tommy's face turned a bright red contrasting sharply with the starched, white surplice of an altar server.
Although Tommy's body was frozen, his mind raced back a week to the rectory as he recalled how embarrassed he was stepping naked out of the shower and finding Fr. Jim standing there with his camera snapping pictures of him. He remembered frantically scanning the small bathroom for a towel or anything to cover himself while his hands went to his privates, but to his surprise, everything had been removed. Tommy then tried to force the door closed, but he was no match for the bigger, heavier priest who continued to click away. Realizing the futility of trying to hide in the bathroom, Tommy darted out to the bedroom, retrieved his clothes and locked himself in the office adjacent to the priest's bedroom. Fr. Jim didn't try to catch him, all he did was laugh and continue to snap pictures. Tommy couldn't understand what was happening as he huddled naked on the floor between the filing cabinet and the large oak desk. He threw his clothes over his head in the vain hope that they would make him invisible. "Why was his best friend doing this to him?" Tommy wondered as Fr. Jim banged on the door. The priest tried everything to get him out of his office from telling him he loved him, to telling him it was just a joke, to offering him money. Losing his temper the Fr. Jim threatened to develop the pictures and leave them all over the school if Tommy didn't come out immediately. Tommy, a mass of confusion, had all sorts of emotions coursing through him: fear, hate, hurt, betrayal and anger. He didn't understand how this priest that he loved so much could threaten him that way. After all, they were special friends with special secrets. Not wanting the embarrassment of anyone ever seeing those pictures Tommy began to get dressed.
The words, "Your brother Joey, Tommy" snapped Tommy out of his nightmare in the rectory back to the Sunday morning sacristy. "What, what did you say Father?" asked Tommy.
Patiently almost paternally, the priest said, "Tommy, you've been daydreaming on me again. I said, I want to know when your little brother Joey is going to join us on an overnight camping trip? I've been thinking about how nice it would be for the three of us to share our secrets."
"Yeah, you told me that twice this week," said Tommy.
"Good, because I don't want to have to ask you again. Love can only grow when it is shared. You and I have to share our love and special secrets with Joey, then he can know love too. Don't you want Joey to love you?"
"Yes Father," said Tommy lifelessly.
"Good. Have you filled the cruets with the water and wine and lit the candles?"
"Yes," was the same monotone reply.
"Good. My congregation awaits my Mass. Let's go," said the priest.
Walking from the sacristy to the altar Tommy's thoughts turned to the conversation he had with his father that morning. Tommy asked his father if it was his job to protect his little brother. His father told him that it was the job of all family members to protect one another and then asked him if there was something bothering him. Briefly, just briefly, Tommy thought about spilling his guts to his father; telling him what Fr. Jim had been doing. He wanted to shout, "Dad, Fr. Genre has had sex with me and now he wants Joey too," but the pain piercing Tommy's soul also stitched his lips. He knew he couldn't talk because his father would never understand. Who would believe a kid's word against that of a priest? Tommy explained himself by telling his father he had seen a TV show and was wondering whether or not it was true.
Tommy 's thoughts were swirling in his head. He felt used, abused, frightened and angry as he realized he wasn't Fr. Genre's special one and only. "Why did he want Joey too?" It was a question Tommy wanted answered and when he realized the truth, it crushed him. Fr. Genre had lied! The pictures weren't for the priest to treasure, they were being used as blackmail to force him to bring Joey into their private games. All of a sudden Tommy felt very used and very, very dirty. The shame was suffocating him with its weight.
Kneeling on the altar Tommy bided his time. He went through the altar server's motions in a mechanical fashion until they came to the Offertory. His hands shook like leaves in a windstorm as he brought the cruets containing the water and the wine up to the priest. Fr. Genre noticed the shaking and smiled inwardly enjoying the sense of power and relishing the thought of another virgin playmate, Joey. Feeling triumphant, the priest emptied the contents of the wine cruet into his chalice and added a couple of drops of water. Tommy began feeling better, thanked God for the recipe he found on the Internet and patted his pants pocket for reassurance.
A few minutes later as the priest lifted the chalice to his mouth to drink the consecrated wine, Tommy reached into his pocket. Fr. Genre, always enjoying the jolt a chalice full of wine gave him, downed the entire contents of the chalice in one gulp as was his custom. This time however, it didn't taste right. It burned. It burned the back of his mouth, his throat, and his stomach. Immediately, the poison reacted with the naturally occurring hydrochloric acid in the priest's stomach forming a more toxic mixture that began eating away at his vital organs. Through the excruciating pain, Fr. Genre saw flashes of light. Contorted in agony, he turned his head toward the source surprised to see Tommy snapping pictures of him. "Tommy, what are you doing?" yelled the priest in a raspy voice, "Get me some help!" Tommy didn't listen, he just moved around the altar capturing the contortions of the dying priest from different angles. Overwhelming the pain, reality barged into the priest's brain and informed him that Tommy had poisoned him.
"Oh God no!" cried Genre in a hoarse voice as his knees sagged and what was left of his gag reflexes sent a putrid mixture of blood and bile spewing out of his mouth and onto the altar.
Snap, Snap, Snap went the camera and with it the flash, giving the whole scene an eerie strobe like affect. Tommy started yelling, "Smile Father, I'm only joking! These are for my personal album, no one will ever see them." It is just the two of us Father. I'm special, remember, you love only me. We have special secrets don't we? You want Joey? You can't have Joey! You're going to die and I have it all on film. I'll trade you. You give me your pictures and I'll give you mine." The camera flashed once more as Tommy moved in for a close-up.
The congregation sat frozen by the surreal spectacle they were witnessing. Tommy's mother screamed breaking the spell and his father, piecing together the shocking puzzle, bolted up to the altar as others followed. Fr. Genre, beyond help, collapsed and died at the altar. Tommy continued snapping pictures even as his father carried him outside the church.
The newspapers carried the story for a week. Fr. Genre's body was shipped back to his hometown for a very private funeral. The bishop told the congregation that only God knows what goes on in someone's mind. Tommy's family settled with the diocese for an undisclosed sum in return for a non-disclosure agreement guaranteeing their silence. The judge found Tommy not guilty by virtue of temporary insanity. The police chief, with the blessing of both the judge and the bishop, burned five albums found in the rectory containing pictures of past victims, all naked young boys. Tommy, he got to watch his therapist burn the pictures Fr. Genre took of him along with their negatives while praying that the pictures etched in his mind would disappear too.
When the only
colour is black -
the only sound, the broken bell -
THEN talk to me about why.
Main page / frameless * Site map and search * Info about me * Info for survivors * Info about abuse * Info about churches * General info * My story * Survivors' bill of rights * Forgiveness and apologies * Perpetrator list * Email me