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."

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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.

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  1. Perhaps it would be useful for a commentator to mention his background. So a reader may have some idea if the person really knows what he is talking about. Accordingly want to state that I was an auditor for ten years. Which means that it was my job to separate fact from fiction. Had the following basic method for detecting falsehood. The first question...does the accuser stand to benefit through his accusation. If the answer is yes, then the next question is....if the accusation is proven to be false, does the accuser risk a loss. For example, loss of money or reputation, or friends. If the answer is no, he actually risks nothing, then the temptation to falsify or exaggerate is very strong. Malcolm Harris.

    1. I am late seeing Malcolm's comment. He raises very important questions. The accuser in this case, Tjhomas Grover, stood to gain $200,000 for making these claims. He need not have feared any repercussions for it is very rare that a false accuser is charged with perjury for lying under oath. So yes, he gained much profit and took little risk in the process.


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