Rule 85 in the Christian Brothers handbook (their written constitution of do’s and don’ts) stated the obvious: “Christian Brothers must not fondle their pupils.”
“Fondle” or “Fondling” is a quaint term to use. What does it mean? The English Oxford Dictionary has the definition for “ Fondle” as, -
(Verb) - “Stroke or caress lovingly or erotically”.
( Noun)- “An act of fondling”.
The ban against fondling was entered into the written constitution of The Christian Brothers Order in 1962, at a time when they were supposedly dealing with the enormous problem of their own peterphiles * (pedophiles) actively working in the Order. Male rape was used systematically as an instrument of total control in all Industrial Schools in Ireland run by the predatory Christian Brothers who ruthlessly exploited and sexually assaulted vulnerable boys in their “care”.
According to the Christian Brothers, their Order was not breaking a rule, or even breaking the vow of chastity. Shocking sexual rape and brutal beatings were the norm in all the notorious Industrial Schools in Ireland for ten solid decades. One of the early Industrial School’s in Ireland was St.Josephs Industrial School, Artane, Dublin which opened its raptorial doors in 1870, and closed its murderous doors in 1969. Tens of thousands of Irish boys, from the age of 9 years old to 16 years, passed through its ferocious doors; over 1,000 of them died at the hands of the homicidal guards, known as The Christian Brothers. Almost every single, helpless boy who passed through the sodomising doors of St. Josephs Industrial School, Artane was raped or sexually assaulted at one time or other, by the ferocious Christian Brothers.
noun- Peterphile *- A Cleric who is sexually attracted to young children. A Follower of Peter the Apostle- the word only applies to Christian Clerics who are pedophiles
According to a few published reports, and a secret report about the Christian Brothers (including a few ex Christian Brothers), there always existed an organised and orchestrated grouping of active peterphiles (pedophiles) who operated within the predatory ranks of the Christian Brothers Order from the very beginning and still operates to this very day. The Christian Brothers charter was to look after disadvantaged boys.
Another one of the Christian Brothers quaint RULES in their written constitution and that was in place since 1947 stated that the Christian Brothers:
“shall not touch their pupils through playfulness or flapity and they shall never touch them on the face”,
Though not in any dictionary I’ve looked at, “Flapity” in this case means “excitement or extreme joy”. It took many decades and rapes of thousands of vulnerable boys before the Christian Brothers recognised sexual abuse as a crime and not a moral failing. The Christian Brothers now realise that celibacy and a religious life anywhere in the world was, and is, no longer attractive. The Christian Brothers are now recruiting new men from poorer countries in both Africa, and Asia and, as they say themselves, “It’s important that the new recruits are mature, emotionally balanced and well-integrated into society, unlike all the Christian Brothers in the past” (who were mostly Irish). Good luck with that I say!.
It is hard to convey the sheer weight of the testimony given in “The Ryan Report” about the Christian Brothers in Ireland, and it is equally impossible to resist the conclusion that some of what was done by the Christian Brothers in the Industrial Schools of Ireland was of quite exceptional depravity, so that terms like ‘sexual abuse’ are too weak to convey it. Thousands of boys, including myself were raped hundreds of times in the various Irish Industrial Schools run by the Christian Brothers. And not just raped, but bloodied and battered and almost beaten to death. A few did die as a direct result of the rapes and beatings while many more committed suicide years later, unable to surmount their continuing pain and total humiliation.
In Ireland, the Christian Brothers recruitment was mainly from rural Ireland, from the middle classes or from the respectable working-classes, growing up in Ireland at the time. The Latin motto of the Order was “Facere et docere “-“To Do and To Teach”.
Industrial School boys had regularly suffered acute deprivation before their admittance to the Religious run Institution, a deprivation at which the Christian Brothers could only guess because courses in child care was very much a thing of the future. The Christian Brothers were normally trained as primary teachers, and not as child care professionals. In the Irish Industrial Schools, the Christian Brothers and boys had to live with one another, cheek by jowl, around the clock, 24/7, 365 days a year. In many ways, the Christian Brothers were also locked up with the Industrial School boys.
The untrained Christian Brothers, normally no more than a few years older then the vulnerable boys they looked after, were unprepared themselves for a lifetime of being locked up in the Industrial Schools with squealing pubescent boys. The work by the Christian Brothers was especially exhausting and very tiresome. Time away from the Industrial School was rare for the young or older men of the Christian Brothers and holidays were few and far between. The vulnerable boys’ moods and reactions differed from those with a stable family background or that experienced by the Christian Brothers themselves.
The boys, with multiple problems like bed wetting, bullying, or other untreated antecedent behaviour, were being supervised by their delinquent peers, the Christian Brothers. The Brothers normalised the violence of fighting, beatings and rape in the Industrial Schools and they actively encouraged boy-on-boy sexual and physical abuse, particularly of unruly younger boys by older boys who were “promoted” to do the bidding of the Brothers as a means of control.
Constant shortages of food lead to constant hunger and a sense of hopelessness, while minimal education of the adolescent boys was the norm. Basic insecurity and poor hygiene training was therefore a pervasive problem. It was likely that the stressful Christian Brothers would lash out in violence, and their own inner sexual frustrations were suppressed. The Christian Brothers, as men, suffered greatly from sexual starvation and yet they desired intimacy and love. Their sexual starvation resulted in a variety of circumstances including physical, mental, emotional, social, or religious/spiritual barriers whose only outlet was the rape of the vulnerable boys in their care.To highlight my point and from my own experience, there existed physical and sexual abuse in all the Industrial Schools for boys. Mostly the boys were stripped naked before they were beaten, adding a sexual element to the punishments inflicted on orphan boys, by the Christian Brothers. The beating or whipping of the naked boys was a precursor to raping them later - which was the norm.
There is shocking evidence of Peterphile rings of Christian Brothers, operating in every Industrial School in Ireland. There is also clear evidence that many of the Christian Brothers operated as a team. It was known both from “The Ryan Report”, (The Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse), and all the Survivors still alive today, that many Christian Brothers were multiple rapists, with many of them molesting as many as 150 or more boys, each. There is no doubt about this. Shockingly, the Christian Brothers Order demanded, and was given, total immunity as a condition of their appearing and speaking before the Commission of Enquiry of Child Abuse. As we now know fromThe Ryan Report, that there was a pattern of sexual abuse within the Christian Brothers Order from 1890s onwards. In a secret letter in the archives of the Christian Brothers Headquarters in Dublin, a
Christian Brother wrote:
“As long as outsiders do not become aware of these things, we may hope for better times after the war.”
On December 1st 1948, Brother S R Young wrote from Sydney to Dublin:
“We had hoped that rehabilitation had taken place, but generally the dog returns to his vomit especially where the second vow is concerned”. (The second vow is never to have sex with children.)
Again a Christian Brother writes:
“The police were not called. The matter was handled within the Catholic community to avoid scandal”. “The protection of the good name and credibility of the congregation was the outcome most sought after”.
Peterophiles as Christian Brothers preyed on us - the orphan boys of the Industrial Schools whose vulnerabilities were ruthlessly exploited. The defenceless orphan boys often felt deeply responsible , as if it was somehow their fault. The use of fear to control and manipulate the vulnerable boys was both obvious and subtle. The resulting damage to the emotional development of the hapless boys were deeply destructive and unforgivable. Shame thrived and flourished easily; a lifetime of fear stalked the isolated, distressed Boys of the Industrial Schools, who, even many years later, were unable to come together to share their common experiences. Many of the anxious boys crawled to their wretched graves carrying their devastating and distressing shame and guilt. These are etched on their final tombstones.
When the Industrial Schools or Reformatories were first established by the Irish Catholic Church and handed over for day-to-day running to The Christian Brothers, their first priority was not the welfare of boys and girls (although this was important to some), but the protection of respectable society from the depredations of certain classes of children. These children were perceived to require special structures and systematic Catholic training because otherwise their chaotic lives were dangerous to society as a whole. The idle, abandoned, illegitimate, poverty-stricken child was viewed as a natural recruit to the ‘seething mass of Irish human misery’, the ‘perishing’ or ‘dangerous’ classes who threatened the stability of the Irish State. This attitude remained dominant, though sometimes contested. This change from viewing the deprived child as a threat, to the notion of ‘the welfare of the child’ as paramount, took place at different rates in different places. Old attitudes died hard over the many generations. To the Christian Brothers, delinquent boys posed the greatest threat.
The 20th century saw enormous and unparalleled social upheaval in Ireland: independence from England, the Irish Civil War and the ruthless Irish Catholic Church consolidating their vast power and wealth within all structures of Irish society. The corrupt and powerful Irish Catholic Church, the Illuminatus, won the war of Independence from England in reality - not the Irish people, as many believe. Instead, Ireland was to be ruled not from The Palace of Westminster in England but from the neo-gothic Pontifical University at Maynooth, which was, and is, the National Gothic Seminary for Ireland - the Royal College of St Patrick, built by an Act of Grattan’s Parliament in 1795. The real seat of power was not Dáil Éireann, (the Irish parliament) toothless and spineless in the face of the insidious Irish Catholic Church. No, the real victors were the illuminati who ruled with an iron fist, exercising raw and absolute power in an oppressive and ruthless way from the battlements of Maynooth. The Irish Clerical Illuminati were, and still are, a secret society. The society's goals were to encourage superstition and religious obscurantism by the manipulation of the popular faith as political praxis and prescribing how the Gospel of Jesus Christ was to be lived in Ireland.
The Irish Catholic Church had total religious and political influence over all aspects of public life, starting from conception to birth and through all the schools it controlled in the Irish State. The Christian Brothers spearheaded the abuse, and used Irish State power and money for its own ends with the encouragement of willing, elected politicians and the secret, conservative and religious societies of the Irish Catholic Church.
Within the Irish Catholic Church was the fundamentalism of The Christian Brothers with their sincere religious beliefs. They were obscurantists who actively opposed enlightenment and the consequent social reform slowly taking place in Ireland. The Christian Brothers were teaching a type of anti-intellectual creed; total obedience to them, to God and, more importantly, the Irish Catholic Faith. The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding, but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world and darken our idea of existence. In reality The Christian Brothers’ brand of religion served as the social control of the Irish populace. As true obscurantists, The Christian Brothers and the rest of the Irish Catholic Church limited the publication, extension, and dissemination of knowledge, through the banning and the burning of books, films and plays in targeting the intellectuals of the day. All the famous writers at the time were banned one way or another as were almost all foreign intellectuals and writers.
The Christian Brothers system of religious belief was blind and was brutally instilled into very young boys as a guide to their future actions. The Jesuits’ maxim, “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man” was the wholehearted belief of the Order. But in the Industrial Schools of Ireland that the Christian Brothers controlled, the Jesuit maxim never appeared. Instead the Christian Brothers’ maxim was “Give me the child for the first fifteen years and I will beat and rape him, leaving a fearful boy, struggling for life”.
The new asylums that were set up were ‘total institutions’. Their Christian managements sought a complete regulation of the daily life of each inmate and the creation of new personalities. The prisons, reformatories, workhouses and orphanages had analogous populations: the poor, the marginalised, the dispossessed, the unprotected and the stigmatised. Their institutionalised functions are associated with the words ‘control’, ‘incarceration’, ‘deterrence’ and ‘rehabilitation’. The daily lives in these asylums run by the Religious Orders, possessed striking similarities. Residential care for children in the Industrial Schools, Orphanages and Reformatories shared much in common, although the common features could be moderated by the age of the inmates, the style of the leadership, and the quality of staffing. All the staffing was by Catholic Religious Orders. (See list below.)
The Workhouses, Orphanages, Industrial Schools, Reformatories all looked alike and the children marched to a similar disciplinary cadence - strict, brutal, and shameless. The Religious-run Institutions were ‘spartan’. ‘regimented’, ‘sparse’ and ‘punitive’. Their objective was to control, to change, to reform, to remould the children. The means to achieve the goals of re-educating the inmates were a combination of moral, educational and industrial training but in a milieu controlled by strict codes of military style order reinforced by severe punishments, including rape. Most of the Christian Brothers who ran the Industrial Schools or Reformatories in Ireland had no qualifications either in teaching or in child care. The Christian Brothers provided an equivalent of a poor-man’s boarding school experience for an otherwise destitute child. At its worst, it was a mismatch of disturbed and disturbing children and frustrated Christian Brothers that created hell on earth. Christian Brothers were peterphiles, sex craved, cruel, brutal, unprofessional and immature, untrained as both teachers and carers and inexperienced in life. As a policy of the Leaders of the Christian Brothers, there was a tendency to place in the Industrial Schools untrained Christian Brothers who were already known or suspected to be abusers and peterphiles.
In fairness to the Christian Brothers, the long, unsocial working hours, the requirement to live-in, the stress of caring 24/7 for disturbed and vulnerable boys, low professional status and low pay were all factors which contributed to the difficulty. Residential care within the despicable Industrial Schools was ripe for the perpetration of abuse by peterphiles (pedophiles) where Christian Brothers could seek out and abuse young vulnerable boys on a daily basis. Immorality was rife in the Order of the Christian Brothers who openly spread their filthy tentacles throughout the Industrial Schools and Reformatories of Ireland. The Christian Brothers were really glorified baby sitters but who was to care for the carers, the Christian Brothers? Many of them led tormented lives themselves, haunted by the evil demons of depression, alcoholism, low self-esteem and their confused sexuality. Large numbers of them had joined the Order from the tender age of 12. If one reads “The Ryan Report”, one would get the clear impression that the Christian Brothers could only be described as a motley crew of misfits who today would be evaluated as maladjusted, anti-social and deviant. In the isolated world of the Industrial Schools it was all too easy for the misfits, the sadists and the perverts to mistreat and exploit vulnerable children in their care. The consequences were many - and very severe.
The Religious Orders that ran the Religious Institutions.
1. The Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy who ran 26 industrial schools including The Magdalene Laundries
2. The Christian Brothers, the largest provider of residential care for boys, who ran the Industrial Schools and Farms
3. The Presentation Brothers who also ran Industrial Schools
4. The Institute of Charity, known as the Rosminians who ran reformatory schools
5. The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul ran 26 Orphanages and a few Mother and Baby Homes and Industrial Schools for Girls
6. The Good Shepherd Sisters who ran 4 Industrial Schools for Girls and a few Magdalene Laundries
7. The Oblates Fathers of Mary Immaculate ran the worst Industrial School in Ireland, Daingean Reformatory School
8. The Hospitaller Order of St John of God, ran residential schools for children with learning disabilities
9. The Religious Sisters of Charity ran five Industrial Schools, for boys and girls under the age of 10
10. The De La Salle Brothers who ran a few residential homes
11. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge ran an IndustrialSchool and a Reformatory School
12. The Sisters of St Clare ran an industrial school in Cavan and an Orphanage which burned to the ground, The good Sisters locked the children into the burning building
13. The Sisters of St Louis ran St Martha’s Industrial School and St Joseph’s Orphanage
14. The Presentation Sisters ran an Industrial School and Industrial School. The Dominican Fathers ran Homes for Boys
15. The Daughters of the Heart of Mary ran Orphanages
16. The Brothers of Charity ran two schools for children with learning disabilities
17. The Sisters of Nazareth ran residential homes for children
18. The Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours, ran Mother and Baby Homes, Hospitals
Owen Felix O’Neill
Owen Felix O'Neill
Author of Child Laundering Secrets, 2017