MISCREANT, MANIPULATIVE OR BOTH?
Looking at the leaves on the ground it must be about late September or early October 1989. I had left Saint Michaels Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire, UK in August the same year and a fuller account of circumstances leading up to my departure can be found in my first blog on this site.
David Cuthbert Brogan was in Frimley Green Hospital undergoing minor treatment but was allowed out and we had arranged to meet on the Sunday. Now Cuthbert told me he was prohibited from seeing me and therefore had arranged that I should stay the previous night with a family from the parish, who, presumably, would keep our confidence. To the best of my knowledge they did. How much of the actual story they were aware of I am unsure.
So Cuthbert and I met up on the Sunday and went to Mass at a Church in Frimley. We also visited Waverley Abbey ruins where the above photo was taken.
28 years on and nearly 9 months into my / our? campaign for justice, Cuthbert remains Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB. As the gradual revelation has dawned as to the damage this man has inflicted on me (and others?) I have found myself revisiting events without the blinkers of youth and groomed conditioning.
If Cuthbert really was prohibited from seeing me, why become more conspicuous by wearing your habit? Or would it appear more as though you were trying to deceive by not wearing it?
So as my title suggests, he is either a miscreant, a manipulator OR BOTH!
If he was prohibited from seeing me, what would his superiors, Abbot Visitor, Abbot President etc have made of this disobedience?
And if not, this is further proof of his continuing manipulation of me.
I felt, accurately or as it may be, inaccurately, that I was unwelcome at Saint Michaels! I loved that place and although during the culmination of everything that led to my departure, at the time, I couldn't get away quick enough, within 9 months I was driving to Oxford, Blackwells, to get a Gradual Romanum, to Alton Abbey for Rosa Mystica incense and I recall more than one occasion driving up, around and out of the drive, with a pause outside the Church. Myself and a friend did attend Mass during the Summer of 91 and I called briefly when Martin Baillie was dying but sadly I was too late to see him. It was not until 1995 that I would stay at the abbey again accompanied by a few friends, one an organist, who got to avail himself of the instrument!
This new found contact was again shortlived by a distorted and misplaced sense of loyalty to my abuser. He freaked me out by introducing myself to a lad he described as a former choir boy, all by ourselves, just the three of us, in the upstairs calefactory that was. Was it innocent? On the day of our profession I watched Richard Heskith, a lad Cuthbert had known from his passionist days in Liverpool, drive quickly passed me on the Abbey drive. I recall his face. like someone hurt who couldn't wait to get out of there quick enough. Had Cuthbert invited him to display me, his latest? This is certainly what came to mind as I sat against the west wall of the calefactory with Cuthbert and this lad together under the far window. Was he doing the same to me? It was at that point that I vowed to myself if I ever heard of a minor being hurt, then I would tell my story. Unfortunately at the time, I neither considered how hurt I had been and therefore how hurt other vulnerable adults may have been. (I think anyone both taking a leap of faith and placing oneself under a superior, is consequentially vulnerable and safeguarding in this regard, needs to be examined!) So this made me uncomfortable about visiting again and then not too long after I had a phone call from a lady connected with the men & boys choir stating that Cuthbert was trying to evict the choir and could I give them anything to take to the Bishop? Was Cuthbert Gay?, she asked. I said that I was and that's why I left, but I couldn't speak for him. I then alerted then superior Dom Magnus Wilson and later received a call from Cuthbert, the details escape me but I think he was appreciative. I then made a decision that my contact with him might hinder his comfortable perseverance and so made a decision to not keep in touch, therefore I lost Saint Michaels again!
It was dissapointing on finding David Cuthbert Brogan on facebook in 2013 that he didn't immediately want to meet up and offer his profuse apologies for what he did to me. His initial reticence to engage further depressed me and should have been all the indication I needed that if he felt anything at my coming out of the woodwork, it was fear! Now some might say that I should have made an effort to go and see him face to face but then, is it really fair to expect the utmost of functionality from a victim when confronted by the prospect of their abuser?
Now I have lost Saint Michaels for a third time and potentially permanently though I hear it is so run down and full of junk as to only fill one with sadness at what has become of the place, oh yes, traditionalists will love the Church. I don't, apart from the organ pipes.
It would be a comfort to think that this latest blog, perhaps revealing disobedience after he had been given a second chance, might result in the justice I / we seek, but I wont hold my breath and Cardinal Keith O' Brien probably need not rush to make up the spare bed anytime soon, if at all.