Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Testimony Judge Joseph Laplante Has Not Heard

 The Testimony Judge Joseph Laplante Has Not Heard

                   By Ryan A. MacDonald

Video documentary testimony of Rev. Gordon MacRae is a compelling challenge to the standard Catholic abuse narrative.  Is that why it went missing for seven years?

As long time readers know, I have written about the story of abuse in the Catholic Church and priesthood from multiple angles.  Some of those who present themselves as authority sources for this story are charlatans with agendas of their own.

Sites such as Bishop Accountability and the beleaguered and widely discredited SNAP, the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, have counted on their audiences to both share their agendas and to not look too closely at their lurid accounts.  I find that those who still routinely cite them as authorities generally share their obvious agenda to disrupt the Catholic Church, weaken its voice, and demolish its priesthood.

The story I and others have followed most closely is that of Father Gordon MacRae, a priest approaching his 25th year in prison when he could have been out in one year had he actually been guilty or willing to pretend so. I find most compelling the bravery necessary to stand by the truth in the face of such personal cost.  Others, however, still stick to their narrative.  For example, I just received this from a comment posted at the conservative site, Church Militant:

     "MacRae is in prison where he belongs.  Take a look some day at the long list of this               creep's crimes at bishop-accountability. Notice that he confessed to several indiscretions of the sodomic (sic) variety.  If he lied about those incidents when he confessed to authorities, then he could.easily be lying now to credulous people like you..."

As is usual, the writer of this twisted take on things gets to put it out there without taking any responsibility for it by  publishing his name.  Father Gordon MacRae, on the other hand, has courageously posted under his own name from prison for the last ten years in the face of vitriol from those with the worse combination of human traits:  closed minds and open mouths.

I  and others have written extensively about the corrupt bias and agendas of the site the above writer refers to. (See and follow the links to related articles).  A problem with the Bishop-Accountability site is that it plays the "every one's a victim" card by redacting all names of accusers so that readers never know who it is they are reading about.

In "A Priest's Story" Parts I and II, The Wall Street Journal's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote the same story, but independently investigated it.  She named the accusers, thoroughly debunked their claims, and demonstrated the fact that most were "serial accusers" having made identical claims against multiple others in attempts to squeeze money out of the accused.

She uncovered the story of one such "victim," a man who has since recanted his entire set of accusations against MacRae while Bishop-Accountability has ignored his recantations.  He today says he was approached by a corrupt detective with a promise of money if he would concoct a claim against MacRae "as others had done." He states today that MacRae is entirely innocent.

This man who recanted is convinced that the others now in hiding - others he knew well as they all concocted their claims together - also created false stories with the enticement of money.  I should add here that Father MacRae took and conclusively passed multiple polygraph examinations in this case while his accusers remain unresponsive to requests that they now do the same.

In June of 2016 I wrote about "The Grievous Error in Judge Joseph Laplante's Court." Judge Laplante is a United States District Court Chief Justice.  In 2016 Father MacRae and his legal team brought a habeas corpus petition before Judge Laplante with an extensive, well-investigated, and well documented Memorandum of Law in support of Father MacRae's efforts to seek a new trial. As a hearing was held in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, the imprisoned priest was in his jail cell just a few miles away forbidden from being present.  Like State judges before him, Judge Laplante ultimately dismissed the appeal without allowing any testimony from Father MacRae or any of the named witnesses who were prepared to testify on his behalf.  The judge, a former prosecutor, seemed to lapse into his prosecutorial role by undermining witness testimony without actually even hearing it.

The most convincing testimony for MacRae's defense is in his own words.  The commenter cited above has not indicated whether he looked and listened, but I have listened extensively to newly released video documentary evidence in which this beleaguered priest got to do what he was prevented from doing at his trial, and at every effort for justice since.He spoke openly and candidly about his accusations and accusers, and it is both riveting and compelling.  Here is what he wrote about this video testimony at These Stone Walls:
   "All I am asking of the Church is simply to be heard.  As I approach the ominous 25-year mark in wrongful imprisonment, being heard feels almost as important to me as being free.  Almost! At my trial and sentencing 25 years ago, I was not permitted to utter a single word in my own defense.

      "At a flawed 1996 appeal represented by a public defender, I was not even allowed to be present. In three attempts at habeas corpus appeal at the state and federal levels, neither I nor any witness on my behalf was allowed to speak.  At no time since my 1994 trial has anyone heard a single  word from me.

     "Since then, all the pundits of both left and right have had their say.  SNAP has had its say, invited by the US Bishops to help shape the Dallas Charter.  SNAP demanded, and was given, the ruin of a filial relationship of trust between bishops and priests, transforming it into a model of servitude in which priests are summarily separated from their civil and canonical rights.

     "Voice of the Faithful has had its say, using 'The Scandal' toward its own ends to reshape the Church in its own image and likeness.  Bishop-Accountability has had its say, recklessly treating every lawsuit and decades old demand for money as 'proof' that condemns every priest to the dubious justice of 'guilty for being accused.'
     "The contingency lawyers have had their say, relentlessly brow beating Church officials into more than $3.5 billion in unquestioned financial settlements across America since the story emerged in the early 1990s.

     "And every step of the way for over twenty-five years, the news media, including the Catholic media, has aided and abetted this by both hyping stories of real abuse and suppressing stories of false witness and greed.

      "Now, after 25 years of silent endurance, it is my turn to speak."

+ + +

I for one am inclined to let him, and I suggest you do the same.  The video documentary testimony in Father Gordon MacRae's own words should not be missed.  And if you care at all for the Church and priesthood, that testimony should be widely shared.

You will find it at the ABOUT Page at These Stone Walls.  Just scroll to it.  The audio portion of Part I begins about 30 seconds into the tape.

And please share this post.


Monday, August 29, 2016

The Father Gordon J. MacRae Story: Injustice in New Hampshire

By Ryan A. MacDonald

L to R:  The Plea Deal of Monsignor Edward Arsenault; The Wrongful Conviction of Father Gordon MacRae; The Arrest of Judge Arthur Brennan

Here in one place can be found the series of links on the case against Father Gordon MacRae investigated, researched, and published by Ryan A. MacDonald.  Please share and post links to this URL.

I recently received an email from a well known American journalist asking if my investigation
and articles on the case of falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned priest, Father Gordon J. MacRae, can be found in one place.  I had never thought of this, but it's an excellent idea.  single post with a list of links to my publications at multiple sites on this case would be a helpful tool for anyone with an interest in this story that remains a gaping wound on the integrity of American justice.

In 2005, I came upon the story of Father Gordon MacRae in a series of articles by Pulitzer-Prize winning writer, Dorothy Rabinowitz in The Wall Street Journal. This was my first inkling that the case against this Catholic priest, that I and most others thought to be fairly and justly adjudicated, was in fact deeply flawed.

As I looked more closely, and probed more deeply, it became apparent to me that this priest is a victim of a zealous sex crimes detective, a set of political agendas, and the greed of men pretending to be victims to ride a wave of media coverage of Catholic scandal to commit fraud.

There are two common denominators in the case against Fr. Gordon MacRae:  Expectations of money, and Keene, NH sex crimes detective James F. McLaughlin.  The articles below tell a shocking and unexplained account of fraudulent investigation, witness tampering, and claims of attempted bribery and falsification of evidence. 

The following statement by Steven Wollschlager was presented to FBI Special Agent (Ret.) James Abbott who spent three years investigating this case. This disturbing statement is from an individual who accused Father MacRae and has now recanted. This man has nothing to gain except his own integrity by making this statement, but no New Hampshire judge has allowed him to testify.  Here is his statement: 

"My name is Steven Wollschlager. . . In 1994 I was contacted by Keene Police Detective McLaughlin. . . I was aware at the time of Father MacRae's trial knowing full well that it was bogus and having heard of the lawsuits and money involved and also the reputations of those who were making accusations. I agreed to meet with the above detective after being told I would be reimbursed for my time. 
During this the meeting, I just listened to the scenarios and statements being spoken to me by the police. The lawsuits and money were of greatest discussion and I was left feeling that if I would go along with the story I could reap the rewards as well . . . .  McLaughlin had me believing that all I had to do was make up a story about this priest and I could receive a large sum of money as others already had.  McLaughlin reminded me of the young child and girlfriend I had and referenced that life could be easier for us with a large amount of money.
I left that meeting after being given $50, easy money like what would come from lawsuits against MacRae.  I was at the time using drugs and would have been influenced to say anything they wanted for money."

When told of this statement, Detective McLaughlin described it to The Wall Street Journal as "a fabrication." However, it is a testament to the role of money in this story that a full year before Father MacRae was charged with the claims of accuser Thomas Grover, hard evidence places this detective investigating this case from the Concord law office of Thomas Grover's contingency lawyer, Attorney Robert Upton. Probing phone calls in an attempt to get this priest to say something incriminating, instead cast doubt on the role of this detective. Was he investigating a crime or choreographing a lawsuit?

Former FBI Special Agent Supervisor James Abbott spent three years independently investigating this case culminating in this statement from his Affidavit:       "In my three-year investigation of this case, I have found no evidence to support that Father MacRae committed these crimes, or any crimes. Indeed, the only 'evidence' is the statements of the accusers themselves which have been convincingly discredited by their own family members and others."

The links below are to articles independently investigated and researched. These articles are published at These Stone Walls or A Ram in the Thicket. It is my hope that readers will bookmark this URL and forward it or post it to refute the distortions of those with an agenda to mask the true facts of this story.


  Bombshells and Black Ops in the Fr Gordon MacRae Case 

The Story Buried under the Father Gordon MacRae Case 

A Touch of Deja Vu 

How Psychotherapists Helped Send an Innocent Priest to Prison 

Whack-A-Mole Justice Holds Court


The Trial of Father MacRae:  A Conspiracy of Fraud 

The Prison of Father MacRae:  A Conspiracy of Silence 

The Post-Trial Extortion of Father Gordon MacRae 

Judge Arthur Brennan Sentenced Father Gordon MacRae to Die in Prison 


Judge Joseph Laplante Denies Priest's Appeal 

For One Priest, A Fate Worse Than Dying in Prison 

A Grievous Error in Judge Joseph Laplante's Court 

The Testimony Judge Joseph Laplante has not Heard

"Those aware of the facts of this case find it hard to imagine that any court today would ignore the perversion of justice it represents." Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2013

Bishop John McCormack, Bishop Francis Christian, and Msgr Edward Arsenault release the names of "credibly" accused priests to the news media.


Bishop Takes Pawn:  Plundering the Rights of a Prisoner Priest 

To Azazel:  The Gospel of Mercy in the Diocese of Manchester

Justice and a  Priest's Right of Defense in the Diocese of Manchester

Prelude to the Year of Mercy:  Confronting the Truth by Father George David Byers, Missionary of Mercy

#MeToo&#HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae

Please share this post. Please send it to others. Please post links in your social media and in comments on the topic of Catholic priests falsely accused.