“John Does consistent in not lying: psychologist” & related article

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The Telegram (St. John’s, Newfoundland)

21 June 2016

None of the four John Does showed signs of lying or exaggerating during psychological testing, a New York forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial Tuesday. 

New York forensic psychologist Alan M. Goldstein continued his testimony at the Mount Cashel civil trial Tuesday. — Photo by Barb Sweet/The Telegram

“I’m amazed,” said Alan M. Goldstein, adding that the consistency is something he has never seen before.Goldstein evaluated the four former residents of Mount Cashel in 2009 and again this year, on behalf of their lawyers. The evaluations consisted of psychological testing and interviews with the men and others in their lives.

Four test-case John Does represent about 60 former residents from the 1940s to ’60s who say the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by certain members of the lay order Irish Christian Brothers.

The church contends it wasn’t involved in the orphanage’s operation.

Goldstein finished by telling the court about his reports on the four men during direct questioning by their lawyers, Will Hiscock and Paul Kennedy. He already testified about two of the men Monday.

For all of the men, the physical abuse pounded them into the ground and made it less likely they would stand up for themselves when faced with sexual abuse, Goldstein said.

Of the John Doe whose marriage and career were ruined by alcohol abuse, Goldstein said the man was disabled by what took place at Mount Cashel, and what happened to him there led to his downfall.

Of the fourth John Doe — a tradesman who tried to join the Christian Brothers to change things, but left the training college — Goldstein attributed his problems with rage over the abuse he suffered. The man told Goldstein the beatings he took at Mount Cashel were a form of sexual perversion by the Brothers.

Goldstein said the man’s rage spilled over into all aspects of his life, though he was never in trouble with the law. But he said it made the man seem like a volatile, abrasive person at times.

He said the Mount Cashel experience is what caused the long-lasting trauma in the man’s life.

Chris Blom, a lawyer representing the Episcopal Corp., began cross-examining Goldstein later Tuesday.

He challenged Goldstein on the American psychiatric manual criteria for diagnosing sexual-sadism, arguing that Goldstein would have had to assess the Christian Brother to conclude beatings the tradesman John Doe described were indeed sexual sadism.

Goldstein conceded the point, if you follow a “very rigid” interpretation. But he also noted the Brother — Ronald J. Lasik — was convicted (of multiple charges in the late 1990s) and is on the New York State sex offender registry.

Blom, delving into the case of a retired teacher, noted in a lengthy line of questioning the inconsistencies between the man’s accolades and successes and reports of poor self-image.

“So, what might be happening here is that (John Doe) is sort of overplaying the ‘I am not worthy’ hand?” Blom suggested.

Later, Goldstein declared of the John Doe’s strengths and weaknesses, “As we would say in New York, he’s one complex dude.”

Goldstein went on to say the man, given that he has done well in life, is not a poster child for what happens to someone who comes out of the types of experiences he’s had.

Follow live updates at the courtroom at bsweettweetsEmail: bsweet@thetelegram.com

Earlier story:

John Does consistent in not lying, psychologist tells Mount Cashel trial

None of the four John Does showed signs of lying during psychological testing, a New York forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial this morning.

“I’m amazed,” said Alan M. Goldstein, remarking the consistency is something he has never seen before.

Goldstein evaluated the four former residents of Mount Cashel in 2009 and again this year, on behalf of their lawyers.

Four test case John Does represent about 60 former residents from the 1940s to ‘60s who say the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers.

The church contends it wasn’t involved in the orphanage’s operation.

Goldstein this morning finished up testifying about his reports on the four men in direct questioning by their lawyer Will Hiscock. He already testified about two of the men Monday.

For all of the men, the physical abuse pounded them into the ground and made it less likely they would stand up for themselves when faced with sexual abuse, Goldstein said.

Of the John Doe whose marriage and career were ruined by alcohol, Goldstein said the man was disabled by what took place at Mount Cashel, what happened to him there led to his downfall.

Of the fourth John Doe — a tradesman who had tried to join the Christian Brothers to change things but left the training college  — Goldstein attributed his problems with rage over the abuse he suffered. The man told Goldstein that the beatings he took at Mount Cashel were a form of sexual perversion by the Brothers. Goldstein said the man’s rage spilled over into all aspects of his life, although he was never in trouble with the law.

But he said it made the man seem a volatile, abrasive person at times.

He said the Mount Cashel experience is what caused the long-lasting trauma in the man’s life.

Chris Blom, a lawyer representing the Episcopal Corp., began cross-examining Goldstein shortly before the lunch break.

Follow live updates at the courtroom @bsweettweets

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Sexual abuse to blame for men’s troubles: psychologist

The Telegram (St John’s Newfoundland)

20 June 2016

Sexual abuse they suffered at Mount Cashel broke one man and created a house of cards for another, a forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial Monday.

New York forensic psychologist Alan M. Goldstein awaits the start of court Monday at the Mount Cashel civil trial. — Photo by Barb Sweet/The Telegram

Alan M. Goldstein of New York is the second such expert called by lawyers on behalf of four John Does who are test cases in the lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s.The men represent about 60 claimants who say the Episcopal Corp. should be held liable for the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of certain members of the lay order Irish Christian Brothers during the late 1940s to early 1960s.

The church says it did not oversee the orphanage.

Goldstein’s testimony differs from New Mexico forensic psychologist William Foote in that by the time he got involved, there was more information for him to review. Foote evaluated three of the John Does in 2000, and Goldstein evaluated all four men in 2009 and spoke to them again this year.

Goldstein was expected to speak to the cases of the two other John Does Tuesday.

But Monday he told the court that a retired teacher, though one of the most articulate and intelligent people he’d evaluated, was so degraded by the abuse, particularly sexual, that he suffered at Mount Cashel, it broke him.

He described the man, among other things, as having a chip on his shoulder and trouble with authority. Goldstein noted the man felt he did not deserve his successes in life. Tests had shown post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in 2009, Goldstein said, adding some symptoms have diminished over time.

Goldstein also described how the man’s wife told him he drank to drive a wedge between them, but confided the abuse when she came home one day and found him sobbing.

This was during the televising of the Hughes Inquiry, prompted by the scandal over abuse of orphanage boys of a later era, primarily the late 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

That inquiry began in 1989.

On the case of the John Doe who retired from the military with a low rank, Goldstein said the man’s major downfall has been anger management, which was like dominoes that held back his career —  anger causing alcohol abuse, fights and inability to maintain relationships.

The man’s ego was completely destroyed, Goldstein said.

He said the man’s sister said they had a good relationship, but she noticed a change in him when he would come home from Newfoundland on leave from the military — he would get in a ruckus due to serious drinking. She also described him as a loner.

Goldstein noted his drinking has since been reined in.

He had told the psychologist he drank to get demons out of his head.

Up until the 1980s, when the man disclosed the abuse to a police officer, the man felt he’d been responsible for what happened to him at Mount Cashel, Goldstein said.

Goldstein also noted the man never wanted to have children because, given he was sexually abused, he feared how they would turn out.

Like the other two John Does, the men wound up in Mount Cashel after the death of a parent.

Earlier Monday, Goldstein said the loss of a parent is unforgettable, but he said if a child — who loses both parents or is unable to be cared for by the surviving parent — is placed in a facility that is safe and nurturing, they can thrive.

Follow @bsweettweets for live updates from the courtroom.

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Twitter: bsweettweets

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Earlier story:

Another forensic psychologist called to testify in Mount Cashel trial

Becoming an orphan doesn’t have to mark a person for life, a forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial in Newfoundland Supreme Court.

Alan Goldstein of New York said the loss of a parent is unforgettable, but he said if a child — who loses both parents or is unable to be cared for by the surviving parent — is placed in a facility that is safe, they can thrive.

Goldstein was called to testify — as an expert on the impact of child sexual abuse among causes of impairment — by lawyers for a group of former residents of the Mount Cashel orphanage during the 1940s to early ’60s.

They say the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel.

The church contends it did not oversee the orphanage.

Goldstein evaluated all four John Does in the case years after another psychologist tested them. That psychologist, William Foote, had evaluated three of the John Does and has already testified.

Goldstein began testifying on the specific cases late this morning. He recalled one man sobbing and breaking down as he talked about the abuse.

Goldstein also described how the man’s wife told him he drank to drive a wedge between them, but confided the abuse when she came home one day and found him sobbing.

This was during the televising of the Hughes Inquiry, prompted by the scandal over abuse of orphanage boys of a later era, primarily the late 1960s, ’70s and  ’80s.

The inquiry began in 1989.

Follow @bsweettweets for live updates from the courtroom.

Email: bsweet@thetelegram.com

1 Response to “John Does consistent in not lying: psychologist” & related article

  1. Sylvia says:

    And now it’s the turn of the archdiocese’s lawyers to try to publicly shred and humiliate the victims. Please keep them all in your prayers.

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