And it can happen to you, even if you simply try to give help and a hand to the sick, lame and lazy and you do not have much else in terms of powers.
CherryPie brought in some information about a good man who has been 'doing time' for a very long time, through the viciousness of a 'poor soul' and the deliberate hounding of a wicked one. It is unlikely that you have heard of him. I had not. But his tale is topical. He is a Priest. Such men are prime targets for the false accusations of the sick of mind and heart and soul, and while anyone can find fault with sexual pest priests, most of whom are homosexual, they are a tiny proportion amongst generally very good men who try hard.
But stone walls are real and do make prisons. Iron bars, cages too. We were told of one man, Father Gordon MacRae. A tale of horror. His case has been pressed by Bill Donohue.Stone Walls do not a Prison make,Nor Iron bars a Cage;Minds innocent and quiet takeThat for an Hermitage.If I have freedom in my Love,And in my soul am free,Angels alone that soar above,Enjoy such Liberty.RICHARD LOVELACE (1618-57) TO ALTHEA FROM PRISON
His troubles began in 1983. Father Gordon MacRae was working at a clinic for drug-addicted youths in New Hampshire when a 14-year-old told his psychotherapist that the priest had kissed him; there was nothing to the story, so nothing came of it. Three years later, when the young man was expelled from a Catholic high school for carrying a weapon, he started telling his counselor how MacRae had fondled him. It turns out that the adolescent was quite busy at the time making accusations: he said two male teachers also molested him. An investigation into all of these cases was made, and they were all dismissed.
No one has covered this story better than Dorothy Rabinowitz, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
MacRae’s accuser, Thomas Grover, has a history of theft, drugs, and violence. More than anyone else, he is responsible for the ordeal that MacRae has endured. He provided not a single witness, even though the alleged offenses took place in populated areas; the places were so busy that it is unlikely that no one would notice if something were awry.
Moreover, Grover was coached by professionals, people more interested in getting a priest than justice.
His attorney put him in touch with a counselor who came in quite handy. She stood at the back of the courtroom during Grover’s testimony, away from the sight of the jury, instructing him when to feign crying. On cue, he cried loudly, often at some length.
Ten years after the first charges against MacRae were tossed, the same man, Grover, resurfaced with new accusations. The preposterous nature of the charges meant they would go nowhere, but as fate would have it, they would nonetheless play a role in helping to bolster a criminal charge against MacRae one year later.It wasn’t over for MacRae, not by a long shot. In 1988, a teenager at a hospital that treats drug abusers told the priest about sexual encounters he allegedly had at the hospital and then exposed himself. MacRae, taking no chances, reported this to his superiors. While they believed him, they nonetheless suspended him pending an investigation.
But the effect that this incident had on a local detective was not sanguine. In fact, he proved to be a zealot who made it his duty to get all the goods on MacRae, even to the point of making some details up.The detective went on a tear interrogating nearly two dozen boys whom MacRae had counseled—looking for dirt—but he came up empty. Then MacRae met a teenager who worked for the detective in a “family-owned business,” and whose mother worked for the police. The young man said MacRae had molested him after the priest turned him down for a loan of $75; the same teenager was accusing others of abuse. Under considerable pressure to end this ordeal—MacRae had no legal counsel and was interrogated for four-and-a-half hours—he signed a statement saying he had endangered the welfare of a minor.
The detective, who wanted more, said, “though no actual molestation took place, there are various levels of abuse.” It must be noted that the accuser refused to speak to an FBI investigator about what happened, and his own brother said the whole thing was “a fraud for money.”
It is not a matter of opinion to say the detective was obsessed with MacRae: the evidence convinced independent observers that he was. For example, when the priest received letters claiming he had abused a male youth, little did he know that
the detective had authored the letters for the accuser.
Also, it was learned subsequently that a witness signed a statement saying the detective had given him cash, offering “a large sum of money” to make a false claim against MacRae.
Word on the street was that the Catholic Church was writing checks (sic)
to get accusations of priestly abuse off its desk, a process that kept feeding the next frenzy.
MacRae was caught up in it, and his superiors were ever quick to clear themselves.
Before the trial, MacRae had twice been offered a plea deal, but he turned them down.
Midway through the trial, he was offered another opportunity. It sounded reasonable: plead guilty and the sentence is one to three years; refuse and risk spending decades in prison.
He refused for a third time.
The trial moved forward and he was found guilty. The sentence was obscene: it was thirty times what the state had offered in the plea bargain.
On September 23, 1994, MacRae was shackled and led out of Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene, New Hampshire. He had been convicted by a jury of sexual assaults that allegedly happened nearly twelve years earlier.
The 41-year-old priest was sentenced to a prison term of
33 1/2 to 67 years.
MacRae arrived in prison on September 23, 1994. He did not know it at the time, but it was the Feast of Saint Padre Pio, himself the subject of false allegations of sexual abuse. A dozen guards in riot gear surrounded him, forcing him to stand naked in the middle of them for an hour while they laughed at him.
“For the first three nights while locked alone in a cell with nothing—naked and with no bedding but a bare concrete slab—tiers of prisoners stomped their feet in unison chanting, ‘Kill the Priest’ for hours on end into the night. It was maddening.”
Prayer allowed him to persevere. “I lifted the cross willingly—though perhaps then more like Simon of Cyrene than like Christ—but I lifted it.
|The Lawyers always get a cut|
When the trial was over, and Grover got a check for over $195,000 from the Diocese of Manchester, he photographed himself with $30,000 in cash. He bragged to his buddies, with bags of cash in his hands, that he had succeeded in “putting it over on the church.” That was in March 1997. In August, he took his former wife with him to Arizona where he blew it on alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, and other vices. In a three-day gambling spree, he went through $70,000 and he even had a Nevada casino hunting him down for another $50,000.
MacRae says he is innocent. So do those who have looked into his case. “I did not commit these crimes,” MacRae says. “In fact, no one did.” Pointedly, he maintains that he wasn’t the one on trial. “The priesthood itself was on trial. No evidence whatsoever was introduced to support the claims. My accuser committed a $200,000 fraud, the amount in settlement he received from my diocese.”
December 23, 2006, MacRae calculated that he had been a priest for 4,125 days before he was sent to prison. He then tallied the number of days he had been in prison and came to the realization that on the very next day he would be a priest in prison longer than in freedom. “For the first time in 4,125 days in prison, I sobbed uncontrollably at this realization. I was losing myself.”New evidence has been placed on record in order to have the good Priest's sentence overturned. These startling new discoveries are largely the result of the thorough work conducted over three years by veteran investigator James M. Abbott. Abbott served in the FBI for over a quarter of a century in numerous capacities.
Newly released signed statements in a recent court motion contend that the primary accuser, Thomas Grover,
made up the accusations to extract money from the Church.
Grover's former stepson: "On several occasions, Grover told me that he had never been molested by MacRae."
Grover's former wife: Grover is a "compulsive liar" and a "manipulator" who "can tell a lie and stick to it 'til its end." Most notably, Grover "never stated one word of abuse by [MacRae]."
Grover’s former wife, who acknowledges that he “never stated one word of abuse by [MacRae],” knew early on in their marriage that something was wrong. She had two daughters when they met, and both were frightened of him from the start. They saw him as a “sick individual who was obsessed with sex and teenage girls”; thus did they label him a “creep” and a “pervert.” They recall that he was “constantly eying” and groping them. When they woke up in the middle of the night, they would sometimes find him in their room, between their beds, staring at them.
The former wife and stepson testify that Grover bragged how he was going to set up MacRae and “get even with the church.” What was said is worth repeating at length:
“Grover would laugh and joke about this scheme and after the criminal trial and civil cash award he would again state how he had succeeded in this plot to get cash from the church. On several occasions, Grover told me that he had never been molested by MacRae…[and] stated to me that there were other allegations, made by other people against MacRae and [he] jumped on and piggy-backed onto these allegations for the money.”
Former friend of Grover and accuser who recanted: I knew "full well that it was [all] bogus … I did not want to lie or make up stories."
Former drug and alcohol counselor for Grover: Accuser Grover claimed abuse "by so many disparate people that his credibility in the [counseling] program was seriously in doubt"; Grover seemed like "he was going for some kind of sexual abuse victim world record." Plus, aggressive New Hampshire detectives applied "coercion, intimidation, veiled and more forward threats" and "threats of arrest" upon the counselor to try to extract a false incrimination of MacRae from her.
Courtroom spectators during Fr. MacRae's 1994 trial: A therapist hired by Grover's contingency lawyer used hand signals from the back of the courtroom to coach Grover on the witness stand.
Veteran FBI detective, after three-year private investigation: "I discovered no evidence of MacRae having committed the crimes charged, or any other crimes."
It was also recently disclosed that the detective who had earlier hounded MacRae was guilty of badgering witnesses, misrepresenting what they said, offering inaccurate reports, and even collaborating with Grover’s civil lawyer. No wonder that another detective, a former FBI investigator, exonerated MacRae. “During the entirety of my three-year investigation of this matter,” James M. Abbott said, “I discovered no evidence of MacRae having committed the crimes charged, or any other crimes.”
Plus: A lengthy criminal rap sheet of accuser Grover reveals numerous arrests, before and after trial: multiple forgeries, multiple thefts, multiple burglaries, and assault on a police officer (after breaking his future ex-wife's nose). The jury at the trial never heard any of this.
Then there are the recent declarations from Debra Collett, who is Thomas Grover's former drug and alcohol counselor. After spending much time with Grover, Ms. Collett found Grover to be sorely lacking in integrity.
According to Collett, Grover claimed to be molested "by so many disparate people that his credibility in the [counseling] program was seriously in doubt." It seemed "he was going for some kind of sexual abuse victim world record."
Most notably, Ms. Collett indicates that she was a victim of intimidating and corrupt detective work.
In the course of trying to nab Fr. MacRae, Detective James McLaughlin and another detective interviewed Collett. They desperately wanted Collett to corroborate Grover's claims, but she could not give them what they wanted. Collet has said:
"Neither [detective] presented as an investigator looking for what information I had to contribute, but rather presented as each having made up their mind and sought to substantiate their belief in Gordon MacRae's guilt … I was uncomfortable with [the other detective's] repeated stopping and starting of his tape recorder when he did not agree with my answer to his questions and his repeated statements that he wanted to put [MacRae] where he belonged behind bars … I confronted [the other detective] about his statements and his stopping and starting the recording of my statement, his attitude and his treatment of me which seemed to me to include coercion, intimidation, veiled and more forward threats as well as being disrespectful. At that point and in later dealings, I was overtly threatened concerning my reluctance to continue to subject myself to their tactics, with threats of arrest …
"My overall experience personally in interacting with the detectives was one of being bullied, there being an attitude of verbalized animosity, anger and preconception of guilt regarding Gordon MacRae. They presented as argumentative, manipulative and threatening via use of police power in an attempt to get me to say what they wanted to hear."
Collett's statements are indeed disturbing.The work continues.
Too many senior people are implicated, from detectives, through Lawyers to the Judge. The District Attorney too. They close ranks: they hold the power.
A finding that the good Father is innocent would cost reputation and a vast amount of compensation.
Bishops would be in the firing line too.
The Church has paid out $ Billions to false accusers. It is all so easy.
Pray for my Supplier's Justice. Pray for Fr MacRae.
Drink up, because man's justice is all too often flawed.
We are told to be charitable, but there is danger in giving charity to the wicked - and drug addicts are eyes-wide-open sorts - who are apt to bite the hand that reaches out to help them.
Be charitable anyway, but keep a hand on your sword.