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At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Card. Stritch) stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you." It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Now, I babble. - ke
**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********
in 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at City fAngels5. in 2010 at CityofAngels8

Friday, February 29, 2008

Tom Economus would be 52 years old today, Feb. 29, an unusual birthday for an unusual man

*****
By Kay Ebeling
At age 10 Tom Economus was traveling companion for a pedophile priest, doing scams at fundraisers by day and getting alcohol and raped by night. Then as a young adult Tom sought counseling and his therapist, another priest, stripped down to his underwear and tried to force his penis into Tom's mouth. Still spiritually passionate, Tom entered a seminary where he got hit on for sex right and left. He dropped out, sank into drugs and alcohol, made it to rehab, became ordained with the Independent Catholic Church and in 1992 was named director of Linkup, one of the first organizations for survivors of Catholic priest sex crimes.

An email came in to City of Angels Blog yesterday: “Tom Economus’ Birthday Tomorrow: An unusual birthday.. An unusual man. A fierce warrior for our cause. Must never be forgotten by us!!"

JAY NELSON: “I still miss Tom's sense of humor, his fearlessness. He would wear his Roman collar to meetings with Bernardin just to drive the hierarchy crazy.”

RICK SPRINGER: “First time I met Tom was at the 1992 Chicago Conference. I was on panel with Tom, a Porter victim, and several others. We became fast friends immediately and I’d say until he died he was probably my best friend throughout.”

Tom Economus told his story to Frontline (link to the full transcript at top of left hand column).

Here he describes his years as front man for Father Don Murray, director of Sky Ranch group home for boys in South Dakota:

He would take me on fundraising events and conventions with him to raise money for the school. And he would put me on, next to him at the dais and say, 'This is a troubled child. This is a bad boy. This is a kid who's been in trouble with the law, with drugs, he comes from the streets of Chicago." And, in fact, none of that was true. I was having problems at home, my family sent me to the school, but I became the poster-child for Sky Ranch for Boys.

It was usually after those events, after he'd had one too many drinks, that I would experience the sexual abuse. We were usually in an isolated area, in a hotel room, where I didn't have access to anyone to tell anyone--although I don't think I would have told anyone anyway. Many times when I had threatened to expose him, he would tell me, "I have legal guardianship over you. Who are the people going to believe-you or me?" And so I was manipulated into silence for seventeen years.


In that same Frontline interview, Tom describes the incident where the psychotherapist priest who was supposed to be helping Tom deal with his years of rape by the pedophile priest who ran Sky Ranch assaulted him:

On the ninth or tenth session, this priest, on that particular day, was telling me about his sexual appetite, in that he thought he was homosexual, that he had been with other men. And then he had shown me a picture of some young man who he said was 15 or 16 years old, that he said he was sexually involved with. And at that point I felt very uncomfortable and I got up and asked him if I could use the restroom. In order to get to the restroom, we were in his sitting room, which was connected to his bedroom, and the restroom was on the other side. I had to go through the bedroom to get to the restroom.

When I came out of the restroom, he was standing there in a T-shirt, and just a pair of underwear. And lunged at me, and knocked me onto the bed. And started kissing me and, wanted to have sex with me. And which I continued to refuse that, he - you know, I'm not very big, and he was a pretty tall person, and he managed to hold me down ... and he was trying to force himself on me. He pulled his penis out and tried to put his penis into my mouth, and then he finally ejaculated, and when he did I was able to get away from him, and I ran out of the rectory and never returned.


Then third strike by the Church, when Tom tried to train to be a priest himself, in his own words from the Frontline interview:

In the seminary program, I remember the first day we went to classes, I felt like I was at a meat market, because everybody checked you out. But it wasn't like, "Hi, how are you?"It was like, (flirty) "Hi, how are you?" People were checking you out, scanning you over. It was the most uncomfortable feeling. But I thought it was me, at the time.

Then as I got into the program, I realized were people were both heterosexually and homosexually sexually active. There were people that lived in our house that were accused of sexual abuse of children. There were people in the house that had very obvious, apparent alcohol problems. There were two people in our house that had very apparent eating disorders and were very much overweight.

And all of a sudden I was in the middle of all of these people, and the expectation was that I was to hug these people in prayer every day, and I was to love them as my brothers, and continue with my studies. And not to be concerned with what they were doing. The whole thing was dysfunctional.


He dropped out, drank, did drugs, got to rehab, became ordained in the Independent Catholic Church, then directed Linkup for the last ten years of his life:

Rick Springer talks about his friend:

“I remember when he was on the Larry King show in the early 1990s. We were in the Tribune Tower in Chicago, the lawyers were in Dallas, others in Washington DC, King moderating.

“Tom just chewed them up. He tore them apart.”

“First time I met him was at 1992 Chicago Conference. They staged a Victims’ Panel. Probably 10 of us on that panel told our stories in front of the audience, well actually it was quite daunting because there were TV crews from all over the world."

Rick Springer continues:

"This was the first conference ever on clergy sexual abuse and it was when the story was just starting to break out all over the place. Chicago blew up, abuse cases all over Chicago and Massachusetts and New Mexico and Louisana and Texas. It was just the beginning.

"After that Tom was on the phone all the time. I can’t tell you how many people had conversations with him like thousands."

Rick tells an interesting sidebar story connected to Cunanan'killing spree from California, through the Midwest to Florida where he murdered Gianni Versace and finally got the news coverage he wanted.

Springer and Economus were in Chicago listening to news reports. They heard that one of Cunanan’s pseudonyms was Andrew DeSilva.

Economus got up and went to his phone records. It seems that in the early 1990s when Linkup temporarily had offices in Long Beach, California, Tom got a phone call from an Andrew DeSilva seeking help about being raped by a pedophile priest earlier in life.

Economus kept careful phone records. He remembered the name. He and Springer wondered if that Andrew DeSilva was Andrew Cunanan.


Economus and Springer were putting together Linkup Newsletters the night they heard and wondered about Cunanan. Every three months Jay Nelson in New Mexico would gather articles about sex crimes in the Catholic Church and reproduce them in the newsletter in the section called

“Black Collar Crimes.”

“It was like Bishop Accountability before Google,” Springer said.

Plus each newsletter opened with an editorial by Tom Economus.

“Jay was the editor. He put together all the material. Then me and Tom and my AA sponsor would fold and stuff and label those envelopes every three months, it was a big ritual.

“We held I think a total of 12 national conferences. The one in Toronto in 2001 was the last one he went to. Everything seemed to be okay. He had just gotten a settlement from the archdiocese.

"He bought himself a condo in Evanston. He moved there, and it was about that time the cancer came back.

The cancer came back.

On March 23, 2003, Tom Economus died just as the pedophile priest sex crime stories were beginning to break in Boston.

Today February 29 is still his birthday.


Onward. . .

9 comments:

North Hollywood Insider said...

There were a series (at least 6) all ruled as "suicides" in 2002, in Washington State, Oregon, and California, of Roman Catholic Church sexual assault victims (from Fresno, Stockton & LA), within months of each other, with two of the "suicides" having been ready to swear criminal grand jury depositions, under cross examination, in regard to the (ongoing to this very day) criminal conduct of Roger M. Mahony in a RICO (Racketeering In Criminal Organizations) Indictment.

If you talk to neutral criminal investigators of these cases, with decades of experience in these matters, at least 4 of the 6 "suicides", all had the clear marketings of professional "hits".

Who gained by these suicides? Roger M. Mahony

What is the statute of limitations of murder for hire? There is NONE.

www.bishop-accountability.org/abusetracker for daily verified stories on the ongoing criminal conduct and cover-up of the Roman Catholic Curia as exsemplified by Roger. M. Mahony.

Laity, Stop Your Donating, Until Roger M. Mahony, EVIL Office Holder, Is GONE In LA As Well As Hundreds Of Other Guilty Red Hat & Miter Pedophile Enablers!

North Hollywood Insider

Anonymous said...

‘What do I say if an adult tells me he was abused years ago?’
Published in The Tidings 10/19/07
Sexual abuse of young people is a societal reality. Some have referred to sexual abuse as a “silent reality.” The sexual abuse crisis which erupted over five year ago within the Catholic Church helped break the silence. However, the truth is that those revelations reflect only a small part of the broader societal problem of sexual abuse and does not begin to address the reality of child neglect.
According to Protecting God’s Children® for Adults training material, one in four girls and one in six boys have experienced some form of sexual abuse before age 18. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 80 percent of incidents within society are never reported to authorities because of the nature of these crimes, the shame and secrecy involved, and the devastating impact upon the victim.
Those who know someone who has been victimized have seen the emotional, physical, and financial toll of childhood sexual abuse. The journey that leads to healing is life long — often measured in decades, not just in years.
In the past few years, since the silence of sexual abuse has been shattered, more adults are openly sharing that they were sexually abused when they were a child. For some people, this may be the first time to discuss their childhood abuse and for others, it marks a long healing process as they find a voice to tell others about their journey.
If someone reveals to you that they were sexually abused, it is important to take the person seriously. When someone musters the courage to reveal they were sexually abused and then are not taken seriously, they may not risk disclosing again. As a result, the person could remain a silent victim of abuse for years or even a lifetime — often blaming themselves for the crimes committed against them. Therefore, it is vital to genuinely listen.
When a person first discloses their abuse history, it is not about your feelings or response. Give the support, comfort, and reassurance that it was not their fault. Let the person know how brave he or she was to tell you and that you understand how difficult it must have been to have the courage to discuss this matter.
Offering care and connection is very important. Contrary to what many may think, victims don’t need or want anyone to feel sorry for them or to behave in a patronizing manner. Rather they need to feel as if their pain, frustration, shame, anger, resentment, humiliation, etc. is acknowledged and perhaps even understood. They need to have their feelings validated. They need an empathetic listener.
Listening empathetically means that, even if only for a moment, the listener absorbs, understands, and acknowledges the feelings the other person is experiencing. Empathetic listening requires listening for the meaning and the feelings that are attached to the speaker’s words. To get to this point, you must “tune in” to the speaker and discard all personal opinions about how the speaker should or shouldn’t feel or react.
When a victim of sexual abuse shares the story of what happened and the resulting damage, it is vital to clarify that his or her thoughts and feelings are completely validated in order for the healing process to proceed. Empathetic listening presumes that victims are capable of finding their own way and provides an opportunity for the victim to uncover his or her own answers. Giving the victim respect, trust, compassion, and generosity is a part of the gift of healing.
Although this article is directed toward listening to adults who reveal their abuse, it is also a good time to review what to do if the person disclosing is a child. Step 5 of the Plan to Protect God’s Children is to “Communicate your Concerns.” The intent of this step is to raise awareness about two different issues. The first issue is our responsibility — legal and moral — to report to state child protection services our suspicions that a child is being or has been abused. The rule is simple — REPORT!
In many states, the law requires every adult to report suspected abuse (mandatory reporting). In other states, only those people with specific relationships to children such as teachers, day care workers, physicians, law enforcement officers, etc. are mandated to report, but everyone else is allowed to report. So when in doubt, report.
If the abuser is known to you, you may be tempted to try and solve the problem yourself. However, when individuals try to confront an abuser to stop sexual abuse themselves, they are almost always unsuccessful. The difficult but healthy way to deal with this problem is:
---Face the issue.
---Confront the problem to avoid future abuse.
---Report abuse to your local child protection service agency and ask about crisis support help.
Talking about sexual abuse can be very hard for the child who has been threatened or has been told by the abuser, who is often a trusted adult, not to tell. It can be just as difficult for adults to discuss abuse if the offender is someone close to them. Still, in the best interest of the child, the abuse needs to be reported, and the child needs to get help.
The archdiocesan Office of Victims Assistance Ministry in Los Angeles is offering a program for adult survivors of childhood abuse or neglect Nov. 3 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact Assistance Ministry at (213) 637-7650.

hrh said...

Under NO circumstances should anyone who has been raped, sodomized, molested and/or abused by any member of the ongoing criminal enterprise known as the LA Archdiocese go to that ongoing criminal enterprise known as the LA Archdiocese for "help." You will only be re-victimized.

CALL THE POLICE!

CALL YOUR ATTORNEY!

CALL ANYONE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE ONGOING CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE KNOWN AS THE LA ARCHDIOCESE!

Anonymous said...

hrh/Benedict/NHInsider, etc.: how sad. Of course, if anyone suspects abuse, call the cops. See the previous post for all the relevent phone numbers to the local police departments. But if you are an abuse victim, then also find help somewhere. The church can help you find a psychologist not connected wtih the church who you can speak with. Don't listen to the pseudonomously-named bitter folks who populate this and other similar websites. Get help. There are people in the church who care and who want to help.

hrh said...

Tod Tamberg, shill for the ongoing criminal enterprise known as the LA Archdiocese, writes, "There are people in the church who care and who want to help."

Unfortunately, none of these people are in the hierarchy, whose only interest is in preserving their cushy lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
There are people in the church who care and who want to help.
Have you ever offered to help Kay?
Or does she not matter since her abuse did not take place in your jurisdiction?
Janet

Benedict XVI th said...

I, Your Pontiff, formerly Joseph Ratzinger, CDF Prelate, must strongly suggest that Ms. Ebling, and whomever 'HRH' may be, are both correct.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese, under office holder Roger Mahony, since 1985, is indeed a criminal enterprise, that is still aiding and abetting known child rapists, oral copulators, physical maimers, kidnappers, murderers, mental torturers, extortionists, racketeers, embezzlers, perjurers, and sodomizers, costing the LA Roman Catholic Laity multiple BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, with no end in sight.

The LA Archdiocese remains a place of clear and present child endangerment and no laity memeber should ever trust a word from the likes of Roger Mahony or those working for him.

I, Your Pontiff, would sooner trust The Devil Himself; at least I suspect I know where the Prince Of Darkness stands in the scheme of things.

The 'North Hollywood Insider' is also a truthful person.

Yes, there where planned 'suicides' made, by independent third parties, on behalf of getting Roger Mahony off, on RICO indictments in 2002. Mahony was fully aware of these 'hits', and is indeed an accessory to several murders.

The many ministries destroyed, vocations in the sewer, slashed payrolls, closed seminaries & monasteries & convents & schools & orders, massive legal costs irrespective of settlements, hugely increased insurance liability premiums, and many multi-generational laity paid for assets, totally squandered under Roger Mahony, are indeed a modern record of incompetency and evil, rivaled by no other single global cleric, in modern Roman Catholic Church history.

I, formerly Joseph Ratzinger, was unable to go after Arch Enabler and Pedophile Ring Leader Roger Mahony, when running CDF, because he was an appointee of John Paul II, and a major revenue source for The Holy See at the time(Marion Davies estate's Santa Barbara oil rig lease revenue, left to the LA Archdiocese, is in the many hundreds of millions of dollars per year to the LA Archdiocese).

These Davies estate's monies have to been squandered on the OLA "Mahal" Cathedral, Rog's cabins, turbo choppers, private real estate deals, investment portfolios, lavish vacations, and personal expenses, personal legal costs, in the many millions of dollars per year, etc.).

What then is the solution?

LA LAITY, YOU MUST STOP DONATING ANY MONIES FOR ANY REASON UNTIL ROGER MAHONY IS DRIVEN FROM OFFICE!

I, Your Pontiff, need the excuse of lack of laity revenue coming in, to rid LA of this Arch Enabler!

God With God, But Please Do Not Donate!

Benedict XVI th
Pontiff & Sinner

Pissed In Pasadena said...

Argumentation, by laity paid for PR or lawyer firms, for Roger Mahony, that the Roman Catholic Insitutional pedophile and sexual assault of over 1,200 California children (that's the known ones, and the unknown or never reported child rapes and sodomies is much higher), over the past 30 years, under the direct administration and criminal cover-up of Roger Mahony, yet unconvicted felon enabler, only came to light 5 years ago, is a flat out LIE.

Deflection by these propagandists that what has happened in the Roman Catholic Church, and the LA Archdiocese, is but a tiny example of much more in our American society, in general, is also a flat out LIE.

The JJ Criminal Justice Report, commissioned by the US NCCB, places America Criminal Roman Catholic sexual rape, oral copulation, sodomy of children, etc., in the US, at the ultra conservative number of 12,000+ victims from over 4,000 ordained.

That places the sexual assault felons standard, out of approximately 44,000 or so Roman Catholic religious ordered, or secular ordained, just under 10% of the current clerics in the American Roman Catholic Church.

But let's just say for argument sake it's half that, or 5% (though I personally really doubt it, and suspect it's more than 10%)?

Is society in general (about 310 million Americans) running a reported convicted, or unconvicted, percentage of 5% of the population being pedophiles and assaulters of children? The answer is a resounding NO! It's not even 1% of the general population!!!

Delusional curia spin artist and office holder, Hummes of Brazil, is still out there claiming the number of sexual assaulters of children in the Roman Catholic Church is gloablly "under 1% and this is an American problem", a mantra so blatently false, and sick, as to make even the least able thinker to laugh in disbelief.

The curia are still covering-up where even the defrocked pedophiles were released to, and still harming more children, and fighting such disclosures, tooth and nail, in the courts, with our (laity) money!

Fellow Laity, I agree with the previous comments above, in NOT trusting ANYTHING the LA Archdiocese, it's employees, and certainly it's office holder Roger Mahony, have to say!

I for one plan not to donate any money until this Sick-Crooked-To-The-Core-Son-Of-A-Bitch-Mahony is gone, and hopefully behind bars to rot for life.

I am a South Pasadena resident and Roman Catholic of 34 years.

Pissed In Pasadena

city of angels lady said...

Thank you P in P, for stating the facts. That church spin that the number of pedophile priests reflects the rest of society has been bothering me but I did not know how to articulate it. You have clarified it for me. Gracias

CALL: Target Crimes, LA DA's Office, to report sex crimes in the Catholic Church: Phone: (213) 974-5985

City of Angels Lady