Looking through the other end of the telescope

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Keep John MacDonald, his mother and nine brothers and sisters in your prayers.  John’s father died yesterday.  May he rest in peace.

Mr. MacDonald’s funeral is at 11 am Saturday 28 April 2007 at St. Columban’s Church, 4th St. W., Cornwall.  Visitation is at Sullivan Funeral Home (341 Pitt St.)on Friday 27 April 6 pm to 10 pm and Saturday morning from 9 am until the cortege departs for the church.

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Hearings resume at 10 am this morning (Thursday 26 April 2007).  There are apparently no witnesses.  The commission will deal with the Ledroit Beckett report on it’s scrutiny of Victims Group affidavits.  The law firm was ordered to examine the affidavits at its own cost after errors were discovered in two of the sworn statements

The commission will also be doing something with documents related to an anonymous victim identified by a moniker.  What I have no idea. 

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Do you have any idea how difficult it is to deal with the testimony of the Let’s Pretend David Silmser is on the Stand cross-examination in absentia?  It’s impossible.  Not only because the novel process itself is ridiculous, but because the inquiry is looking at what did and did not happen and who did or did not do what through the wrong end of the telescope.

As it stands it is the “alleged” victims who are at the other end. Not the “alleged” paedophiles.

And, because of the flawed mandate, that just is not going to change. Even when it comes time to focus on the various institutions and their response to allegations of “historical abuse” the focus will still be on the “alleged” victims.  It has to be.  How else to address the institutional response to those sexual abuse allegations than to rationalize and justify by pointing a finger of blame at the “alleged” victims? Without doubt one institutional witness after the other will take the stand to point and wag an accusatory  finger at the “alleged” victims.

If the inquiry looked at things through the other end of the telescope things would look a lot different.

What would happen if, for example, the inquiry was mandated to look at the “alleged” paedophiles with the same diligence and scrutiny awarded the “alleged” victims?

What would happen if, for example, the inquiry focused on what the “alleged” paedophiles did or did not say.  And what if it focused on which “alleged” paedophile knew which “alleged” paedophile? 

What if every institutional witness was asked the equivalent of The Perry Question? i.e., Did you ever meet, befriend, be befriended by or rub shoulders with lawyer and former Crown attorney Malcolm MacDonald, and/or probation officer Ken Seguin, and/or Father Charles MacDonald, and/or former Chief of police Claude Shaver,and/or lawyer and Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc and/or Cornwall Crown attorney Murray MacDonald?

If yes, to one or more of the above, when and where?  Who else was there?  How many times did you get together?  Did you ever talk about (1) the sexual abuse allegations against Ken Seguin and/or Father Charles MacDonald? (2) the $32,000 pay-off? (3) the illegal clause in the pay-off? (4) Perry Dunlop? (5) Ron Leroux in general and what he says in his affidavit in particular? (6) David Silmser? (7) Perry Dunlop, Helen Dunlop and/or Carson Chisholm? (8) the sex abuse allegations against, amongst others,  Jacques LeducBishop Eugene Larocque, Malcolm MacDonald, Dr.Peachy, Nelson Barque, Keith Jodoin, Richard Hickerson,Fathers Kenneth Martin, Paul Lapierre, Rene Dube, and the alleged clerical paedophiles from the Classical College?  When and where did the discussions transpire? Who said what?

Do you or did you know Fathers Luc Meunier, Carl stone, Paul Desilets, and/or Paul Marchese?  If yes, when did you meet?  Where? How often? Who else was around? When did you last meet?

Have you ever travelled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida?  How often?  When?  Who travelled with you?  Who was there during your stay? Where did you stay?  With whom? Did you ever stay at the Saltaire Motel? 

Do you or did you ever own a cottage?  Where?  Did any of above ever visit? When?

Did you ever threaten anyone with legal action or discuss suing anyone?  If yes, with whom?  Against whom? How often did you meet to discuss the matter?  Who attended the meetings? Who said what?  Whose idea was it to threaten legal action? Did anyone take notes? 

Did you ever actually launch a lawsuit against anyone?  Against whom?  Why? Who did you talk to about it?  When? Where? Who was your lawyer?  Why directed you to that particular lawyer?  What was the outcome?

I could go on and on.  But, that’s what I call looking at Cornwall through the other end of the telescope.  And that changes everything.

And so, for example, when the commission is pondering the ever-evolving institutional policies, practices and procedures and why the Cornwall Police Service never laid charges against Ken Seguin and Father Charles MacDonald it might give equal time to ponder the institutional response in light of allegations that the Chief of police of the day, Claude Shaver, was a good friend of Seguin and “Charlie,” and a friend of those who hammered out the pay-off (Bishop Eugene Larocque, Jacques Leduc and Malcolm MacDonald) and a friend of the Cornwall Crown attorney then and now, Murray MacDonald. 

If, for example the word went out that David Silmser wasn’t credible, who put it out?  Is that worth investigating? 

And if, for example, the Crown decided there really weren’t reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges, and the Crown is allegedly a friend of the accused, might not that alleged friendship warrant an in depth investigation to determine if the Crown was in fact offering advice when he himself was in a serious and undeclared conflict of interest?

And if furthermore the Crown is allegedly not only a friend of the Chief, the bishop, the two lawyers who worked on the “church” pay-off and both of the accused but is in fact also a nephew of Malcolm MacDonald, does that not exacerbate the conflict?

And then of course there are the allegations of a paedophile clan.  Did it, does it, exist? Who was part of the clan?  Were Claude Shaver, Malcolm MacDonald, Father Charles MacDonald, Ken Seguin, Bishop Eugene Larocque and/or Murray MacDonald part of or involved directly or indirectly with those who were/are members of a paedophile clan? 

Would a clan rally to the defence of it’s own? Would paedophiles try to cover-up allegations against their peers? Would good friends rally to defend each other?

That’s what I call looking at the institutional response from the other end of the telescope. (And let’s never forget for a moment that institutions per se don’t respond, it is individuals within the institutions who do and did the responding.)

And so we are obliged to listen and watch and endure as the legal throng go about their business of lining their pockets defending their institutional clients by looking through their end of the telescope – attacking David Silmser’s credibility and parsing his every word and analyzing and second-guessing and demonizing his every contact with Perry Dunlop, and Helen Dunlop and Carson Chisholm and John MacDonald. 

I’d say that’s looking through the wrong end of the telescope. But, …that’s the way it is and that’s the way it presumably has to be.  The McGuinty/Bryant flawed mandate demands it. And after all didn’t Justice Glaude say the “rumour” and “innuendo” swirling around Cornwall on his arrival were false? No paedophile ring.  No cover-up. 

Paedophile ring?  Cover-up?

There’s more than a glimpse of both when you look at the “institutional response” from the other end of the telescope.

And that’s enough for now,

Sylvia

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