9 May 2008

Daramalan and Marist College - Child Sexual Abuse.

| Canberra Gardener
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[Ed. CG has kindly kept us in the loop on this one with further updates on the case from ABC online here]

I have been watching the posts about the Daramalan and Marist College sexual abuse by Paul Lyons and Brother Kostka for some months now. I have been watching the news and reading the reports, and also doing my own research for nearly a decade. (google “kostka” “marist”) There are some interesting opinions shown here on the RiotACT about this issue and I have appreciated reading them all……albeit sometimes difficult to keep an eye on all the different streams of comments.

Although I have been wanting to comment for some time…..I have found it difficult to post…..as I am also trying to come to terms with being a victim of that dirty pedophile Paul Lyons……(actually….I have being trying for 19 years).

I think I have finally realised that now it’s time to sort all this out once and for all, and start dealing with it rather than keeping it in the bottom drawer.

Firstly I would like to say a few things……..I understand that there are good teachers, in all schools, and that this type of chronic sexual abuse is probably not happening anymore at Daramalan or Marist (well lets bloody hope not), but one thing has always stuck with me………where has the common moral duty gone from our teachers, schools, and more so, our society?

Lyons, Kostka and the others, well they are just simply, dirty, filthy pedophiles, treating our local schools as kiddy supermarkets. Looking for vulnerable kids to pray on for their own needs. Abusing them and putting them back on the shelf when they are finished. Wrong, disgusting…..inexcusable….(or in a language that the clergy will understand)…..unforgivable. Even by God’s standards……..(if he ever really gave a shit anyway). It’s dirty pricks like that that sometimes give reason for arguing for the death penalty. But that is another issue.

Others knew what was going on. That is a fact. Teachers, school management and the clergy……..yet what was done? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Well I shouldn’t say that. Some parents complained…..(actually a lot of parents complained over time….finding them to testify is the issue). Teachers complained….(I know of two teachers that complained on numerous occasions…..and have heard of many more.) Some were ignored, others relocated, some even forced out. But still nothing was acted on. No punishments…..against the pedophiles at least.

But I would have thought that common sense would say…’if you reported an incident of sexual abuse against your child to the school, and the school said, “nothing will be done”, (or after time you realised nothing was being done), surely you would report it to the police?’ Or go to the police in the first case? Wouldn’t you? Or am I missing something here? Seems like common sense to me.

As for Teachers…….where is their moral duty? Their duty of care?

It is becoming apparent that these schools did nothing to stop the sexual abuse when informed of it…….. But in as much as each school is responsible for the wrongdoing and their failure in their duty of care to their students, they also have a duty of care to all students. Don’t they? In otherwords, isn’t Marist responsible for sending Lyons to Daramalan, as it is alledged they knew of his issues as much as they knew of Kostka’s. Offloading him doesn’t reduce their obligation….it worsens the failure in their duty of care…..to all.

As for the teachers and parents. The one’s that knew all along…….and did nothing. I hope they are feeling equally guilty for the prolonged abuse of so many boys. Guilty for their inaction…(I know I am for not coming forward with my case of prolonged abuse)…if only for the abuse on their own child or those in their care.

Don’t they say inaction is participation…..?

Victim numbers are estimated into the 100’s (some say maybe 1000’s….over 30 years)…….not that we will ever know, as the vast majority will never come forward. Because like me, they have probably questioned whether it is worth opening the pandora’s box, exposing their family/children to the shame of what they themselves have felt all these years. Some won’t have told their wife’s/partner’s and have probably been denying it to their parents enquiries all this time. (God knows what would happen if some of my life long friends would say if they found out)………No matter what….the damage is done. It cannot be taken back, or reversed….nor fixed. We can only hope that coping mechanisms can be used to minimise life long trauma…. (and I don’t mean alcohol or drugs….although it has worked for me for years).

Yet there is something else that can be done. We can use our increasing anger to remind people of their moral obligation to report abuse. Use our anger to remind organisations like the church and our schools of their moral and legal obligation to report and prosecute the abuse……..and use our lawyers, to send a clear statement that failure to act will be a million times more costly than taking action in the first place. We need to make this so painful that they would never consider repeating their abuse, or inaction.

Reputation and political risk is what they try to avoid by sweeping it under the carpet in the first place……but I say let’s fight this in the courts if only to get this recognized in the public eye for what it is. And let’s fight it in the ‘court of public opinion’ to shame all these bastard for doing nothing. For allowing the sexual abuse of children to continue…. decade after decade.

I know I wouldn’t send my children to a pedophile sympathetic school. But then again, how do I know if their school is or isn’t? Again, another issue.

How the current parents of Daramalan and Marist students must feel everyday when they send their kids to school, wondering……..worrying……. “is someone fiddling with my child today.”

How those boys that took there own life (because of this abuse) must have felt. I feel for their families. I cry for them.

Finally…..a big thank you to the two boys that originally came forward to formally complain around 2000/2001 about their own terrible abuse by Lyons while at Daramalan. Thank you for your efforts in speaking out and taking this to court. Your selflessness has given 100’s of others the ability to resolve this grave issue in their lives, to start to close the loop of the pain and suffering against them and their families and to show these bastards that the game is over. We would not be where we are today without your extraordinary efforts. You give us all strength.

I would like to offer my sincerest heartfelt apology to you and all the victims of this abuse for my own inaction. I wish I had your courage…..to do what is right. If only I had reported my own abuse by Paul Lyons, maybe others could have been spared.

I am sorry.

As for you ‘pedophile bastards’ we are coming for you, we know who you are and will find you in your sleep if we have to…….start praying……god knows you need to.


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I was victim#1 that went to the Police all those years ago. I wasn’t his first and I wasn’t his last, just the first with the courage to come forward, have him charged and have him admit his guilt, then he did the world a Favour and killed himself.

Or was there a Br Robert Speare. “Mr” Bob Speare 78/9 is now Br Speare at Lismore.

Brother Robert …. Pereira’s the only one that springs to mind. Sri Lankan? Religious instruction mid-70’s to …? Now resident in Queanbeyan and evidently no longer in the order. Latterly “relationships” counsellor for south-west NSW catholic system schools. Google… Is there another Robert?

dazednconfused16:24 am 19 May 08

Clueless70, I am (almost) mostly on your side with this one. The reason why the more general brutality will not be acknowledged is because it just does not rate in peoples consciences. With some people it does. But the travesty of our society is that people see it as a minor issue. As a young child I was brutalised, sexually, physically and psychologically. Believe me, in some cases ranking the violations in strict order is harder than you think, they merge together and become at time indistinguishable.

It is interesting that Paul used to tell me about the brutal level of physical punishment at Marist. Daramalan never really operated that way in the 1980s by the time a got there. Not as extensive as Marist. Paul was 100% in favour of strapping kids. As the years went on in the time I knew him he became even more adamant. I never saw Paul hit any kids, but that he seemed to discuss that with sadistic pleasure on one had, yet ‘loved(?!?!!)’ his charges on the other; to me this just shows how really warped this whole thing is when you are talking about the bigger picture.

As far as the “former-cop lawyer” is concerned, in his defence, he needs to keep a fairly narrowly focused case I would suggest, and including these broader issues you raise may make his goal a lot more difficult. He has a duty to his clients and to his own security of income, to ensure a winable position against that catholic monolith. That is about as far as I will defend what they do. As I have said before, I am sceptical about these legal processes, but for all those people who have been wronged and want to go through this process I bear no criticism.

I will state it again; I have a huge mistrust of authority of all kinds. I have been this way most of my life. I certainly do not trust police and while I agree with a lot of the postings here, when people start putting cops up on a pedestal as being pillars of society in their arguments, I think that goes far astray. The police, police cum layers are no more pillars of society than private school teachers and catholic brothers, or anyone else for that matter, if that sounds too bleak to people, too bad, I have good reason to stick to my guns on this one.

As far as the person who abused me, he is getting quite old now and the time will come close where he will have to come face to face with me and explain himself for the things he did over those years. That is the best way for me to deal with it because it is solely an issue between him and me. I do not want retribution in the ordinary sense, I do not want to cut his nuts off (on a bad day I certainly do), I want him to have to face me and to face up to the fact he used me like a piece of meat–firstly at least. The most important lesson he can learn, the crux of the matter, is to know what it is like to be betrayed. First and foremost, an adult who abuses a child first commits an act of betrayal of trust. I think that is what needs to be reciprocated. The betrayal: In that lies real restoration. In a way this happened with Paul, because to two guys who initially came forward said, “enough is enough I am not living with this secret about Paul any longer”, betraying the silence induced by Paul through shame that he left those boys with because of his actions.

It comes down to that because I was ignored when it did matter. So yes, that is my way. I have felt this way for a couple of years now and I must admit my relationship with Paul, my blinded loyalty to him, initially, after his death motivates me even more.

Clueless70, your talk of brutality reminds me of a story I was told several years ago by someone who was educated by the Christian Brothers (read ‘christian buggers’ as he called them. Says it all does it not?) in the 1960s. Brutal, Brutal stuff. Aggressive psychopathic brothers who seemed to take pleasure in bashing teenage boys. Now that is very different to being violated sexually, but I agree, we need to stop ignoring this as a relatively non-issue. It certainly is not.

Lastly, re-reading the threads here with the different views and feelings expressed has been very illuminating. I hope it keeps going.

Once again I am stunned, as I read through the volumes of chat over the Kostka and Lyons cases, by the total elision of the endemic, chronic physical violence that characterised life at Marist in this period.

Is anyone at all going to acknowledge the psychological and physical damage that was inflicted by both violent teachers and students against other students at Marist? Or are we merely going to satisfy ourselves thundering at filthy evil petafiles?

I remain unimpressed by a former-cop lawyer who has recognised the substantial publicity mileage in pursuing adult-child sex abuse cases. His total lack of interest in the more mundane forms of suffering speaks volumes.

I am sympathetic to the Canberra Gardeners who were hoodwinked or betrayed by Lyons in their formative years. To them I can only ask, how barren and unsupportive was the social world in which you lived as a youngster, that a Lyons or a Kostka could have seemed to you like a friend? What had deadened your fine natural intelligence to the degree that you felt it necessary to comply with them? What stood in the way of your breaking free? And do you think anything in that world has changed for the average, institutionalised, Australian male teenager today?

To find a hand on your thigh after a session of skeet shooting was a statistically rare occurrence even in the heyday of the unaccountable Catholic peedofile teacher. To be bullied, ridiculed, brutalised and beaten at Marist was much more common. For some students this was a daily event. On these humdrum horrors, silence.

Those who thunder against kiddy-fiddling child-molesting monsters utterly fail to see the woods for the trees. There is something wrong with the institution that produces (not occasionally but repeatedly) these men. Its victims and its abusers are cordage cut from the same root-stock.

If there are any in this long-running thread with whom I agree completely, it is the ones who have resolved never to send their children to a religious school, and I hope that also means, implicitly, a single-sex school. This is at least a rational response to a sick system.

dazednconfused17:34 am 18 May 08

I must admit that I am battling with the idea that I described Paul as a friend for so many years. This particularly after acknoweledging my first instict about him was the right one. That he had me believe otherwise just makes me feel like a sucker really.

I often wonder if I had said anything to someone in a position of power what I thought he was really up to at civic pool all those years ago whether it might have changed anything. Mind you, it is coming out now that plenty of parents complained about Paul in the the late 1980s. There were serious concerns and it looks like they were ignored, so had the school heard something similiar from me–a known troublemaker back then; still am–I think they would have done the same.

I read in some newspaper that Fr Denis Uhr is copping some criticism for his role in all this. I would just like to repeat my opinion that I think it is a travesty that more has not been made of Fr Bob Irwin’s role in all this. He employed him. And I doubt he employed him ignorantly.

I know I will never let another opportunity slip to let a rockspider slip through the cracks again. After what I went through from the ages of 10 to 14, knowing that I got close to someone who was doing essentially the same thing is a mindf***!

Canberra Gardener8:34 pm 16 May 08

Mick1965, maybe your right. Who really knows. Someone is only as good or bad as someone else thinks of them……….I also thought he was a great guy.

Dazednconfused1, you got it in one. It was the sex he was after. Like when I need to get milk. I get in the car, drive to the shop. Get the milk (and other unnecessary items) pay for it and bring it home. He had a system, a certain style, he would choose a path of lowest risk and least resistance and he would go and get himself a boy. To fuck ………plain and simple. Personally I don’t give a shit what drove him to do it……..just kinda glad it ended the way it did for him……..with a hose in the tailpipe.

We all have demons. Some big and scary, and some not so much. But most of us don’t let it control us. Some of us develop masks, to disguise it, others don’t mask it at all. It guess it depends on you as an individual, where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Common society doesn’t extend the arm of compassion and say “it’s ok that you destroyed so many, because you helped a few.” It doesn’t say “it’s ok to rape and abuse little boys because you were abused”. He may have desired a normal, caring life……but he lived, and chose to live, the deceitful, destructive life to fulfill his own fantasies.

Now I consider myself a normal 30+ year old. Wife, kids, pets, two cars and a house that the bank owns. I live a quiet successful life (in the eyes of others), the sort of life that has been carefully developed over time, to ensure anonymity. Anonymity from my shadowed past, anonymity from the pain I have suffered.

I have lived with this for 19 years. Took me 14 of those years to even share the most basic of details with my wife. She is a very understanding, extraordinarily beautiful women. All in all a pretty picture of a life……wouldn’t you say.

But what people don’t see, is the 19 year battle with the bottle. Not even my closest friends know I am an alcoholic. Only my wife now understands why intimacy is an issue for me, no one even knows there is an issue. They don’t see the prolonged abuse of drugs, both legal and illegal over the years……they don’t see ……any of it. I make sure of it.

Now I don’t need to talk about demons…….all the victims of Lyons or Kostka (or any other sex abuse victim for that matter) have them….some are obvious, some well hidden………but we have them, big or small. My point is, the self destruction in my life has never been enough to make me seek help. To make me seek closure.

At first I thought I was drawn forward to help some of the other victims, thoughts that maybe my story would help them seek rightful legal retribution, closure, whatever. Little did I ever know or realise until recently, was that it was my eldest child that made me draw the line. Made me realise enough is enough and I have to sort this out. Why you may ask, as he wouldn’t know, he’s only a few years old?

Fear. Plain and simple. The one thing that controls us all. FEAR.

I was becoming so frightened that it may happen to him………that he (a little version of myself) would fall foul to the same devious……….(now just to clarify…..I don’t mean from or by me. I am a happily heterosexual male that is not the least bit interested in little boys) ….Lyons like predator. But the anxiety that would rise in me became stronger and stronger as he got older and older……..fearful that this precious, innocent, happy, unsuspecting little ‘me’ would even have to face these demons……..when you have kids, you understand why some parents say, that 20 years jail would be worth using a shotgun to stop a predator harming your child.

Now I have covered a lot of ground in the fight to understand what’s been going on in my life for the last 19 years………professional help has helped, and I strongly recommend others seek professional help…..if only to understand. Partly these posts are a part of my own self understanding. But also to encourage others to understand that they are not alone.

That maybe what I feel is what they are feeling.

Maybe that my issues are similar……I don’t really know.

I hope it helps, and doesn’t harm……..I honestly want dialogue on this matter. I want people to know that they can talk about it. Here, at home, wherever………to be able to do it anonymously does help…..I hope it helps others.

I appreciate all your opinions on this post…….it is all relevant. Victims, witnesses, people who new a person……I don’t care, your input here is important, to me and others.

Canberra Gardener8:29 pm 16 May 08

Vicepope and Sepi, I agree that litigation is a blunt instrument that often fails to address or resolve the real issues amongst victims. Like the Reserve Bank and interest rate manipulation, I believe that it is often the only instrument. Blunt or otherwise.

Ant, I agree with your comment on the emotional control. First trash the emotion, lower the defences, console and provide support, and then take control. Like a puppeteer.

dazednconfused15:13 pm 16 May 08

I certainly am not suggesting Paul was one dimensional. If that is the impression then, I have been misleading. I think Paul was an extremely complicated character, so I think of our responses to his legacy now.

I do not think that Canberra Gardener is suggesting that either but, he makes a good point when, he says that (and I hope I am not putting words in to your mouth here Canberra Gardener) his perception of things is that Paul was really only interested in you, if that corresponded to you reciprocating sexually with him. I think it is very brave for Canberra Gardener to come out and effectively say “Paul was a friend to me as well”. This is not easy to come out and say about someone who has turned out to be a rockspider extraordinaire. Much easier (publicly at least) to renounce him and leave it at that; no, this is deep, multidimensional.

I think Paul did lots of good stuff over the years, but his behaviour taints any good deed he did do, because we all have to ask how much of what he did was motivated by sexual opportunity. Now I saw Paul help guys (always young guys) get off heroin. He used to let them stay at his place, they would cramp up, shake and shiver, all that stuff. They all looked behaved the same, strapping young lads with a vulnerable streak. Now I think it is highly likely that Paul’s help in these cases was either contingent on sex or at the outset contingent on that being a possibility later on.

Now I am not saying that people need to be altruistic. Great to aspire to but this is very hard to do. But certainly there seems to be little if nothing altruistic about Paul’s good deeds when it seems his only motivation was the gratification of immediate desires, with disregard for, and at the expense of other human beings. And maybe for those Paul did not choose to advance on, this was merely an act to appease his conscience. That is the tension in all this.

Mick1965, I think the alcoholic metaphor is a useful one, up to a point. It turns out from the police interview (this was published in the paper so I am giving away nothing new here), that after the heady days of encounters with boys in the late 80s he was trying to stop inviting them home. He obviously realised he stepped over a line in the sand. That Paul would express doubts about anything privately amazes me because his public facade was one of the staunchest I have ever seen. But you are right; the alcoholic metaphor is useful because he is like a compulsive drinker resolving that he has had his last. I do not think it is even close to the whole story though.

Here is a thought: If Paul knew he had a problem, is it not a complete travesty that treatment was not something that he could easily access without stigma—because surely anyone who wants to stop should be embraced for confronting their problems before they do others damage—if someone wants to confront their demons we should be all up applauding. The problem is I think he may have had tacit encouragement to keep on offending. Not sure from where though. From this point I could begin another rant about catholic/private education but I will resist.

With all due respect I really don’t believe Paul was that one dimensional. I think he WAS a nice guy with a demon. I was not one of his victims, I was a Kostka victim. And yes I think Kostka was emotionless like DEXTER and other real life serial killers.

I think Paul was more like an alcoholic. He could have really liked/loved/been IN love, but his sexual addiction would overpower him and get in the way.

I would hope it’s better for you guys to think maybe he was a nice bloke who did care about you but just could not control himself.

That given, if you need him to be a monster then do whatever the hell takes the pain away because that’s more important than anything now.

dazednconfused16:53 am 16 May 08

Canberra Gardener
Your last post just blew me away! Thanks very much for that. You hit the nail right on the head I think. I suppose getting everyone to think he was a top bloke is what breeds this sort of false loyalty to someone like Paul who was really fully of crap.

By the way, some years ago I got to reading up on something called fast seduction techniques. Good salespeople, con artists, and yes, many sexual predators use these techniques. Some people fall for it, some do not. If you fall for it, it does not mean you are dumb, perhaps just vulnerable at the time. Once I looked into this, I saw a lot of what Paul did as being copybook fast seduction.

I remeber when I first met Paul when I was 15 or 16 years old, it was almost as though he could read me mind backwards. He seemed to know me better than I even did. When you grow up you realise that is a *game* anyone can play if you practice it enough and are willing to develop it.

The other thing about Paul is that he appeared so confident and cocksure about everything. He seemed indestructable (not just sport either), and he rarely let on that he had any vulnerability at all and he did this in a way I have never seen in anyone else. Maybe that is what you have to do, if you want to put your conscience in the dustbin. The funny thing is that the animal who molested me in the early 1980s was exactly the same. Cocksure and supernaturally confident. Not the bumbling socially inadequate stereotypical pedo. I should have gone with my gut instinct that time I saw Paul at civic pool in the summer of 1988/1989 at the diving pool. I thought for about 30 seconds, “your are just here shopping for teenage boys aren’t you”, but then quickly followed that up with “Nah, not him, he’s a good bloke”.

The other thing Paul used to do,was while feining at lifting the ego spirits of those he ‘supported’ he would just as quickly make a hurtful joke about something really personal for his own amusement. Now everyone probably does this to some extent, but Paul had this ability to kick people when they were down just to keep them dependant enough on him, when it suited. I used to think this was just his way of joking then I think when I was about 25 or so, I worked out that pattern of his and really thought, well, thats a rather nastly streak for a guy who is supposed to be everyones best friend. He did that not only to me I saw him do it to other people.

Another thing, I do think over the years he knew time was catching up with him. His public behaviour got very odd in the latter years. But then again after I declined his insistant offer of sex, he was very wierd with me.

I am reminded of Jonny Rotten’s famous quip at the end of the last Sex Pistols gig in America “Ever felt like you have been cheeted?” I think that sums up the feeling for many people here.

I think some of these accounts illustrate a facet of paedophilia that gets overlooked. The way an adult can completely trash the emotions of the kids. The kids don’t know what’s going on, the adult has the knowledge and experience to manipulate the kids’ feelings, and the kids have no defences. That these feelings are still with these guys when they’re adults really shows how pedophilia isn’t just a physical abomination, it’s horribly emotional and mental too.

Canberra Gardener8:04 pm 15 May 08

Dazednconfused1…….thanks for your post. I agree with you.
I also trusted Lyons……..well he was a friend to me. To a lot of boys.

I looked up to him, and thought of him as a mentor. He was a great guy, that made time to listen, and to help out. As a teacher, in the classroom he taught me a lot. He was good at teaching kids.

The hardest thing I had to deal with, was to let go of the ideal that he was a nice guy. To accept that I was used, to accept that I was abused. And to accept that all he ever saw in me was the opportunity to have sex. He never really listened. He never really cared……..he was only interested in sex.

He chose kids that were troubled, going through a bad patch. I was too (in hindsight nowhere near as bad as the years after the abuse).

Paul’s biggest asset in his abuse was that the kids loved him. He was COOL. Really cool. He spent a lot…..all his time with the kids. In school and out of school.

It took me years to realise that it was just a DEVICE…….a bloody good one at that.

It took me years to realise that I wasn’t the only one.

But it also destroyed me, many times over………’till I got it………. ‘till it set in.

I think for some……..it still hasn’t set in. They haven’t got it yet.

Now I could be wrong……I honestly hope I am……..’cause they are in for one mighty bender when it does finally set in.

Canberra Gardener8:00 pm 15 May 08

Lyons and Kostka both took pleasure in sexually abusing boys. There is no other reason why they would go to such lengths, and for so long, to do what they did.

Firstly, in post #12 above, I stated that Lyons was not just a gay guy with a predilection for young men. “The way I see it, is any male adult that uses devices (alcohol, drugs, shooting, etc) and a schoolyard to shop for underage sex partners is a sick f*@king pedophile. He preyed on the vulnerable. He preyed on young boys, and some were eventually raped by him. Some of the abuses happened over a very long period of time……and regularly. He did it for his own pleasure without consideration for the damage he was doing………..”

He groomed, deceived and developed young boys for the strict purpose of developing young sex partners. When he was done, or when he didn’t get exactly what he wanted, he dumped them. Destroyed their trust, and forever changed them. Let’s all be honest here, he wasn’t interested in being a nice guy, all he wanted was sex.

Zilog said :

however Lyons was more likely a gay bloke with a predilection for the young; a crucial distinction. Neither of which is very unusual in itself. But for some reason in many peoples minds 1 + 1 = 1001. It may just equal 2.

“A gay bloke with a predilection for the young” – Does that not make him a kiddy fiddler? So you are are saying the fact that he is a gay bloke who fiddles with kids doesnt make him a pedo?

I hope you don’t work in the catholic education system!

dazednconfused17:37 am 15 May 08

I do not live in Canberra anymore so I am not in touch with all the media reports, but does anyone know the latest publically released numbers of people who have complained about Paul Lyons’ activity when at Daramalan? It seems like most of the people who post here are ex-Marist (I know Canberra Gardener is ex dara). I was in contact the other day with someone else who knew Paul in the 1980s and 1990s who was not sexually abused. We knew about the trips to Eucenbene but neither of us ever got invited to go. I guess those trips only had one purpose in hindsight and since neither of us were really his target there was no place for either of us. While it appears now that Paul’s abusive behaviour was prolific, he certainly was selective.

Paul was a bit of a confidant to me for many years on and off. I did confront him about his interests in students several times and always felt as though I got an honest answer which obviously I did not. In many ways my relationship with him was contingent on him being honest with me, otherwise much of what he said to me, the ‘advice’ he dished out really just goes up in a puff of useless smoke–which it has.

I really feel quite haunted by all of this now and very confused. Paul propositioned me sexually in the mid-90s like I may have indicated in an earlier post. I remember thinking at the time he was just waiting for an opportunity when he thought that I was close enough and a low enough risk. Paul knew I was molested when I was quite young. I told him once I started to get to know him early on when I was about 17 years old. Because he seemed to try to be empathetic to me I guess I thought better of him. Perhaps that blinded me to some of the gut feelings that I had about him. Also because he was one of the few people around at the time who helped me when I was going through a bad patch. He did help, he was the only one who really did help at the time, and again, maybe this is why I thought better of him than what intuition would otherwise indicate.

Paul did make unwanted sexual advances to me when I was in my early 20s but by this time I suppose I was big enough and ugly enough to deal with it. He really did corner me though. I told him I was not interested, I forgave him for getting the wrong idea, but he showed much less interest in me after that, and I can only think he had been putting me on ice for later use. He failed and for him, it was time to move on. The person I called friend was nothing but a user. I first thought this in the mid-1990’s but thought I had to be wrong. So my ‘friendship’ with Paul really ended in the mid 90s yet I probably saw him on average once a fortnight for the next 5 years until the week that he was charged. It is bizzare I sort of so wanted my relationship with him to ‘grow up’. I was not the young guy who needed advice dished out to, I wanted to be an equal. The trouble was I grew up and was not interesting any more. I remember having a particular bizzare conversation with him in 1999 where I was over there for a bout 2 hours and I think he grunted at me 3 times over that period. All I wanted was for him to fess up and say that his interest in me had passed its expiry date and since I was never going to put out for him, I had no business being there.

He was just a preying user. Nothing more.

Maybe it’s got flashing lights and one of those digital ticker things.

Like sometimes you see in areas of high traffic accidents.

“It has been ***1456*** days since the last reported child abuse. Servo Fidem!”

Canberra Gardener5:20 pm 13 May 08

The suspense is killing me……….what does the sign say?

Wide Boy Jake10:33 am 12 May 08

Don’t be too harsh on Marist, they are taking action. They recently installed a new sign out the front . . .

From the trial last week, apparently Kostkas defence is that he was molested as young boy thereby acted in a diminished capacity due to mental illness from the afore mentioned abuse.

Canberra Gardener8:25 am 11 May 08

Who really knows, but it is frightening.
Some boys had to endure multiple, everyday abused. Some were even abuse by Lyons and Kostka at the same time……and the schools knew.

11 schools in 23 years suggests that some other schools walked him immediately.
So why did Marist and Daramalan shield him for so long? Why did they allow him to abuse and molest for years after finding out?

I also find it interesting that the Catholic Insurance Office’s lawyers are not contesting that the school was told by a parent, but they allowed Kostka to remain and abuse little boys for another 7 years. 7 BLOODY YEARS.

If you use Lyons as an example, it is conservatively estimated that he would take on average 2-3 kids back to his place each weekend. Do the math on that one over a 7 year period.

11 schools between 1952 and 1975?

11 schools in 23 years?

Jesus H….

How many of those do you think he got ‘moved on’ from before arriving in Canberra where they turned a blind eye?

Canberra Gardener12:28 pm 10 May 08

Sex-abuse teacher was molested as a child
From Today’s Canberra Times BY VICTOR VIOLANTE



A former Marist College teacher who sexually abused six boys at the Canberra Catholic school in the 1980s was molested as a child while under the care of the Marist Brothers, the ACT Supreme Court was told yesterday.

An agreed statement of facts also revealed that at least one victim’s parents reported Brother Kostka Chute’s abuse to the headmaster in 1986, but Kostka remained at the school until the end of 1993.

This portion of the statement of facts was not objected to by Kostka’s solicitor, Greg Walsh, who is being paid by the Marist Brothers and has represented several other Marist teachers charged with similar offences around the country. The court also heard Kostka, 75, whose legal name is John William Chute, taught at 11 other Marist Brothers schools between 1952 and 1975 before moving to Marist College in 1976.

At sentencing proceedings yesterday, the retired brother pleaded guilty to 19 counts of indecently touching the six teenage boys between 1985 and 1989. This included 11 counts, relating to four boys between 1986 and 1987, he had pleaded guilty to in February. It did not include seven other charges the prosecution was forced to drop because they had allegedly happened before 1985,when a statute of limitations of one year applied in the territory for such offences.

The court heard Kostka, the youngest of 10 children, had been separated from his parents in Lismore when he was 11 to attend a Marist Brothers ”juniorate” a secondary boarding school for boys aspiring to become brothers in Mittagong.

A psychiatrist, Dr Chris Canaris, who has been treating Kostka since 2002 for what he called a ”psychosexual disorder”, told the court Kostka had disclosed he had been sexually abused by an older boy while at the juniorate between the ages of 11 and 13 and also before attending the juniorate by ”a member of a religious order”.

Dr Canaris said people who had been sexually abused had a much higher likelihood of becoming abusers, and that Kostka had been unusually young to have been put into the religious order.

The 19 admitted charges represented only a fraction of the sexual encounters he had had with the six boys, according to the statement of facts.
One victim told police Kostka had abused him on a daily basis when he was in Year 7, often in the presence of other students. ”I started Marist College in 1985 and the touching started almost straight away,” the victim told police last year. ”This became very normal to me and Brother Kostka would touch me daily, sometimes two, three or four times in a single day.”

Another victim told police Kostka had befriended him during his first year at the school in 1989, at a time when he was unhappy and had no friends. The abuse started towards the end of the first term and continued until late in the year, always in Kostka’s office. ”I knew that I should not see Brother Kostka and that what he was doing was wrong but at that time I felt that he was the only person that knew me, understood me and made time to talk and listen to me,” the victim told police last month.

The other victims told police the abuse happened in various places around the school, including the theatrette where Kostka hosted movie nights, his residence on the school grounds, a gardening shed and even in a food van that sold pies at footy games on weekends.

Kostka, who walks with the aid of a cane, remained silent throughout proceedings, except when he pleaded guilty to the 19 charges read out to him.
The sentencing proceedings were adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report, though Justice Malcolm Gray declined to remand Kostka in custody.

Litigation is a blunt instrument, but it does publicise the issue of sexual abuse. It is important to get people talking and thinking about it, as the embarrassment and secrecy of days gone by definitely contributed to people getting away with it.

Surely no school would be stupid enough to cover up this type of behaviour these days.

Canberra Gardener7:23 pm 09 May 08

We are faced with a number of issues.
1. The Sexual abuse itself. The is permanently written into the history of our minds.
2. The fact that both schools knew it was happening, yet did nothing to stop it, help the victims or mitigate the risk of it happening again. A failure in their Duty of Care.
3. How do you fix it? Stop the pain? Break the cycle of abuse as suggested above by the ABC article that Kostka was abuse, and therefore went on to abuse.

Litigation is not the only means. That’s why Kostka is being pursued in the criminal courts, by the AFP. Nothing will fix what happened, but to punish another predator, may make other think twice. I can only hope.

Litigation is not so much a means of punishing the predator, but those who helped him, either by their own corrupt action, or by their deliberate inaction. (I don’t mean the inaction of victims.) This is not a money issue (at least it isn’t for me, not suggesting it is for others either) but more an issue of deterrence. To make the thought of non action, or non reporting of such a sick evil offence, so unbearably costly that they must report it. (now we have laws for such things, then – I understand- we didn’t).

Cost….what is that? Well this means different things to different people and organisations. To the Church, and such high profile private schools such as Marist, and some may argue, Daramalan, this often doesn’t mean money (as they are insured) ……but Reputation.

Damage to their reputation as a reliable, safe, upstanding place of education and moral values is costly to them, and very hard to reverse. Again, this isn’t about ruining the school, or the reputation of the fabulous 100’s of good teachers that have worked there prior or since, but making the school realise that to cover such things up……to condone through inaction, or acting in such a way to directly obscure the truth or deliberately falsify the history of events is not only abhorrent in every conceivable way, but won’t be tolerated by the public, the authorities, or the student and the families.

By going to court, it becomes public record……a fact that unfortunately deters victims from coming forward, although their names are suppressed. But being on public record, it is reported in the press (hopefully truthfully) but is forever noted as having happened, and the following legal events will hopefully show liability, and culpability on behalf of ALL those involved. Not just the Predator.

It is important that events like calculated systematic child sexual abuse are brought to the public forum, for all to be informed. As a parent, I believe I can be a better parent for being better informed, and I hope that other parents will feel and act in the same way.

I posted this to hopefully enable discussions to show the 100’s of victims that THEY ARE NOT ALONE. News reports state over 60 direct victims have come forward, and that will just be the tip of the iceberg.

Not all will come forward, but I honestly do hope that all of them, whether they do or not, seek the appropriate help, the appropriate support, and know that there are many of us that were victims of Paul Lyons, Br Kostka, Daramalan and Marist College.

The truth must come out……hopefully we all have the strength.

I haven’t read the book, but will now look it up. Thanks

On the general issue of sexual abuse, may I commend the book by (former) Bishop Geoffrey Robinson for its careful and compassionate dissection of this phenomenon. He was formerly in charge of trying to get things back on the rails, and (touch wood) probably did a pretty good job at stopping the rot.

I really wonder whether litigation, even if it leads to heavy payments of damages, will address the needs of the victims. It’s what our society does about any form of injury – it’s just that it doesn’t always make sense or solve the problem. Everyone gets exposed in court (or open himself up to be exposed), some are believed and some are not. Some don’t come forward at all. The damages, if any, are paid by the employer or its insurer, not by the creep who did the damage. As to the responsibility of the employer, there was a High Court decision a few years ago which meant that liability is not automatic (NSW v Lepore, Samin v Qld) and would require some evidence of negligence or another basis for damages.

Canberra Gardener5:24 pm 09 May 08

Sorry here is the link to the ABC Story.


Canberra Gardener5:18 pm 09 May 08

Court hears Marist brother was sexually assaulted
ABC News Online

The ACT Supreme Court has heard a former brother at Canberra’s Marist College, who’s pleaded guilty to molesting young boys, was sexually assaulted himself as a child.

John William Chute, whose religious name is Brother Kostka, has pleaded guilty to 19 counts of acts of indecency on young teenage boys at Marist College between 1985 and 1989.

Chute was a religious teacher at the school.

The court heard Chute moved to Mittagong at the age of 11 and became a member of the Marist order.

It was at this time when he began to be sexually assaulted by another man within the religious order.

It lasted for two years.

A psychiatrist told the court, Chute suffers from a pyscho-sexual disorder which is compulsive sexual behaviour.

He undertook a six month residential rehabilitation program in 2002 in New South Wales.

The 75-year-old is due back in court on June 5, to be sentenced.

Canberra Gardener4:15 pm 09 May 08

Haven’t heard anything yet.

Did see this though: a few weeks old but relevant.

Plea to Pope on sex abuse ‘firewalls’
The Australian
Ean Higgins and Nicola Berkovic | April 22, 2008
A PROMINENT lawyer representing victims of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic teachers and priests has called on the Pope to use his World Youth Day tour to urge his agents not to hide behind legal firewalls.
Porters Lawyers principal Jason Parkinson has won several big settlements for former students and has more than 60 more clients who claim they were abused by teachers at two private Catholic schools in Canberra, Marist College and Daramalan College.
He said the Pope should make similar expressions of accepting responsibility for child abuse by agents of the church as he did on his recent visit to the US.
Mr Parkinson said that despite the Catholic Church in Australia’s official stance that it was confronting the history of sexual abuse of children by teachers, brothers and priests, it was in fact trying to dodge legal liability.
He said this applied in two respects: a case in which the church successfully mounted an argument that priests were not its agents; and what he claims is an until-now-unknown statute of limitations that comes into effect in September.
Mr Parkinson told the ACT Supreme Court yesterday that he feared the Catholic Insurance Office and the trustees of Marist College were trying to “spring a trap” on sexual abuse victims by dragging out legal proceedings beyond this September deadline for court action.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Sydney said yesterday: “It is not known what the Pope will say when he visits Australia, but whatever he does say will be informed by the Australian situation and not that of the US.
“There have been cases in Australia where a priest … who is alleged to have committed sexual abuse has been sued. When there are allegations that church authorities have been negligent, they too can be sued.”
Mr Parkinson said he had a barrister’s opinion that because of tort reform and grandfather clauses, in the ACT there would be an absolute statutory ban on civil claims involving alleged sexual abuse of children before about 1990. He said the same principle would apply in other jurisdictions.
Mr Parkinson was acting yesterday for two former students who are suing Marist College over claims that they were sexually abused by a former teacher, John Kostka.
Brother Kostka pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to molesting four students between 1986 and 1987, when they were aged 13 and 14.
Mr Parkinson asked the court to order the trustees for Marist Brothers to file their defence within 14 days.
Marist Brothers requested they be given eight weeks.
Registrar Annie Glover imposed a deadline of four weeks, ordering Marist Brothers to file its defence and appear back in court by May 19.

What this space

Any further news on the outcome?

Canberra Gardener8:11 pm 01 May 08

I would like to remind those following this story that Br Kostka is to be sentenced in the ACT court on May 9. Next Friday I believe.


The fact that they covered it up for over 20 years suggests they knew it was not acceptable. It’s good for you though that it is so unfathomable.

In 1975 we were introduced to Marist with “What is BORN in the Classrom LIVES in the Classroom DIES in the Classroom and is BURIED in the classroom”.

All the other kids learned that and lived by it. Only weaklings told their parents what went on and the genuine “tough” kids just took it all and went back for more. We were even taunted if we had traces of Mercurochrome on a sore. It was a very unhealthy culture.

Sometimes our parents would report things to the school and/or police and it was pointless.

It was an interesting read.

I had thought perhaps these guys didn’t realise that what they were doing was that wrong.
(Different era and all that). But he clearly did, and yet kept on doing it.

CAnberra GArdner

Thanks for re-printing the article I was trying to find it recently. This is the story that led myself and a school mate to go to the Canberra Times, principally as there was no mention of Paul’s time at Marist and the school silence over the matter was disturbing.

I continue to watch this issue with interest….

Canberra Gardener10:07 am 21 Mar 08

This may be old news to some of you, but I feel this article shows a number of facts and emotions surrounding the damage that Lyons had done. Both relevant and worth a read. Quite Compelling.

The Australian
Studiously predatory
July 07, 2007
A teacher’s shameful assaults ended in his suicide but questions remain about his school’s record. Ean Higgins investigates

WHEN Paul John Lyons went into Queanbeyan police station at lunchtime on June, 10, 2000, he knew the game was up after 12 years as a teacher and pedophile at Daramalan College.
It was almost too easy for the young detective constable Tony Hinton; Lyons confessed fast and nonchalantly to the allegation against him.
Hinton: “Peters has complained you masturbated him. Is that what you’re saying happened?”
Lyons: “Yep. Simply a hand wank, and that’s what happened.”
In the tape of the police interview heard by Inquirer, Hinton, clearly taken aback, coughed and paused for a long time before starting again from the beginning.
Lyons had just admitted to indecently assaulting a minor in 1989, a 15-year-old student who had been a member of one of the circles of Daramalan boys whom Lyons skilfully drew into his lair with the enticement of skeet-shooting, tutoring, alcohol and massages. “I would come home, would have helped someone with their homework, I think, and then probably started scratching,” Lyons told Hinton in the interview.
Lyons said that after indecently assaulting Peters (not his real name), he tried to stop having sleep-over parties with boys at Daramalan, a Catholic school in Canberra.
“I know that after that incident, I know I have always been trying to avoid taking kids home, I felt so awful about what happened,” he said.
But he clearly couldn’t help himself. The sexual abuse of Peters happened early in Lyons’s time at Daramalan, but for years after that he kept taking Daramalan boys in their early teens back to his bedsitter flat in Queanbeyan. Daramalan College principal David Garrett yesterday acknowledged Lyons’s history of abusing boys and called for students who might have been abused to come forward.
“After school they’d come along with a lot of ex-students and they would come over, stay, I’d take them shooting, some I’ve taken fishing, just heaps and heaps of them over the years,” Lyons told Hinton.
A strange tone crept into the interview, as Lyons’s confession took the form of a personal epitaph. He told Hinton of how he was a science teacher but also a handy sportsman.
“There isn’t a sport I haven’t taken on, football, judo, hockey.” He’d won national titles in skeet-shooting.
But Lyons, who told Hinton he’d been gay since the age of 13, knew he’d chosen the wrong boy to abuse and expressed remorse: “The mindf– comes on later, as I’ve found.”
A few days later, police charged Lyons with the indecent assault of Peters. A few days after that, Lyons drove to Tallaganda Forest, stuck a pipe from the exhaust into the cabin of his car and killed himself. Lyons nearly got away with it.
Peters kept the horror of Lyons’s assault inside him for nearly a decade.
“I felt sick, physically ill. I left the apartment and stayed out all night until the next morning,” Peters tells Inquirer. Peters, now married with children, has never been gay and says he fell into the sex act because of Lyons’s smooth predatory skill and the fact that he was a teacher, a person in a position of authority and trust.
Peters avoided Lyons after that and made it known to the teacher he was outraged at what he had done. But he couldn’t bring himself to tell anyone.
“It’s the shame, the whole thing, and it’s his word against mine,” Peters says of his thinking at the time. “At school you’d be labelled a poof or a homo.” The implication from Lyons, Peters says, was: “You keep your mouth shut or I’ll let your mates know you’re gay.”
But in 1998 Peters watched a television advertisement for a campaign against child sexual abuse. He went to the police, in part because he felt Lyons deserved to face justice, but also because he feared Lyons might still be doing what he did to him and worse to other boys at Daramalan.
“I thought, what the f– am I doing, I should dob this prick in,” he says.
By chance, about this time Peters encountered a fellow former Daramalan student at a bar. They started talking about Lyons. “I dobbed him in,” Peters says he told the former student. According to Peters, his former schoolmate replied: “He had a go at me as well, but much worse.” That former student also made a complaint to police.
Peters and the former schoolmate were the first two cases Canberra lawyer Jason Parkinson brought against Daramalan, alleging damages for sexual abuse. Those two cases were recently settled, with what are understood to be big payouts.
Parkinson has three similar cases before the courts and has received a statement from a sixth. But Parkinson, Peters and former Daramalan teacher Terry O’Brien believe dozens of Daramalan students may have been abused by Lyons. The latest year in which Parkinson’s clients allege sexual abuse took place was 1994, five years after the incident with Peters.
According to Parkinson, a former NSW police detective, Lyons had a cunning, consistent modus operandi.
He tended to pick on struggling and more vulnerable students, giving him the opportunity to present himself to them and their parents as helping with remedial work for school assignments through tutoring.
At that time in their early teens, he offered the students an exciting lifestyle. “He took us shooting, he gave us beers and he showed us pornos, so we thought, this is just great,” Peters says.
Lyons, according to Parkinson, would weed out of the circle any boy who might talk, and stage by stage make increasingly sexual moves on them, with “sports” massages being the vehicle. Then Lyons allegedly performed a graduated series of sex acts on his victims, culminating, in some cases, in sodomy.
According to Parkinson and O’Brien, the effects of the alleged sexual abuse on the students were variable, in some cases severe. Some, Parkinson says, became bad kids when they never had been before, exhibiting strange, wild and sometimes violent behaviour. “They have been racked with guilt, pain and depression,” Parkinson says.
Some were incapable of working at all, Parkinson says, while others were in and out of psychiatric units.
According to O’Brien, he and another senior teacher, Peter Cuzner, warned one college principal, Father Bob Irwin, that they believed Lyons’s practices of taking students home was inappropriate for a teacher. Irwin agreed and, when informed by Cuzner and O’Brien in 1988 of their concerns, called a staff meeting to tell all teachers in no uncertain terms that he did not condone unauthorised extracurricular activities with students and would not allow it. Irwin left for another school the next year and, in the view of Cuzner and O’Brien, Lyons resumed his pattern of behaviour, if he had ever stopped.
O’Brien, who at one stage also had some line responsibility over Lyons, confronted him directly. “He said he could do what he bloody well liked on weekends,” O’Brien tells Inquirer.
Parkinson says: “Our case is that the excursions became tacitly approved by the school and that the excursions always had a connection with the school. Usually it was study sessions to help with a particular assignment or extra rugby training. These were the robes of respectability that allowed the boys to get permission from their parents. In the same breath, Lyons would mention the ‘teaser’ of skeet-shooting or camping. And this went on for years.”
O’Brien emphasises that he and Cuzner never had any evidence that Lyons was sexually abusing boys; their immediate concern was that taking them to his home was inappropriate. But he says he believes the sort of behaviour towards students that Lyons was engaged in was dangerous. He says he did “everything in my power” to inform his superiors of his views.
It is understood a third teacher, who still works at the school, Dale Seaman, reported what she regarded as Lyons’s inappropriate touching of students. Inquirer understands a laboratory assistant had allegedly seen Lyons in the school lab with a boy over his lap, his pants down, and with Lyons massaging his behind.
In the police interview, Lyons denied he had sexually abused any boys apart from Peters.
But O’Brien, who is in contact with many former Daramalan students, says, without revealing what they have told him, that his gut feeling since Lyons was charged and committed suicide is that he probably abused many Daramalan boys. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” he says.
Cuzner declined to comment and Seaman did not return calls.
When Parkinson brought his first two cases against Daramalan in 2000, he says the school went straight for the bunker. “In 15 years of criminal and civil litigation, I have never had tougher opponents than the Catholic Insurance Office and their solicitors. It took six years of hard graft to get a result. I hope all the future cases will be easier for the victims,” Parkinson says of Daramalan and its insurers.
Lyons’s downfall was picking the wrong kid. Unlike most of the students whom Lyons cultivated, Peters was smart, in the advanced class, and resilient. Peters says he suffered some longer-term angst after being abused by Lyons, becoming “hypersensitive about the thought of a pedophile”. But he has recovered.
“I think I got off very lightly compared with the other kids.”

Canberra Gardener4:04 pm 20 Mar 08

Well, I do hope Daramalan and Marist have enjoyed decades of everyone thinking that nothing was wrong……..because the world is going to know now.

Co-ed won’t fix this. Shame on the fact that they covered it up, publicity about what they didn’t do, and a few trials through the courts should get everyone’s attention.

The TRUTH must get into the public domain……the only way to do this with credibility is to do it through the courts…….and in the court of public opinion.

I wouldn’t let my kids step anywhere near the place……and to be honest……I am surprised others do.

dazednconfused13:28 pm 20 Mar 08

Just on the Wood Royal Commision and Franka Arena. The former was an investigation into police corruption whose scope was extended to sexual abuse. The NSW police were running quite a rent boy racket. Why are we not surprised. The Latter former NSW MLA was a complete noisy crackpot, but in anycase, I think the mid-90s was pivotal in the change in levels of awareness.

dazednconfused13:22 pm 20 Mar 08


Paul actually told me that he was diagnosed with alzheimers in about 1999. I am not sure now if it was true or false. It was also mentioned at his funeral. He used to occasionally come out with weird stuff like that. It was also mentioned at his funeral, but at the time his family already knew the real reason.

From what I can tell, and this is a bit of a guess, by the time you finished Dara, Paul had effectively abandoned taking boys home to his place. Like I have said in a previous post, I and many others saw boys over there in the early 90s, when I was barely out of being a kid myself.

Now, I am going to take a stabb at why this change in behaviour might have happened (if it indeed happended at all). This is pure conjecture and may have absolutely no basis, but I have given this a bit of thought… Wood Royal Commision in 1995, and Franka Arena. Both brought child sexual abuse to wide attention. Attitudes and awareness altered forever and people like Paul, simply did not have the same sort of access to boys anymore. I also think there might have been an element of paranoia there too or Paul’s behalf about being exposed and also, maybe he started to mindf*ck about the things that he had been doing over the years.

In the late 80s I think in some of his science classes maybe upto 75% of the boys were take to his home at one point or another and I would guess that close to 100% may have been taken off school grounds.

This is all conjecture. I could be *utterly wrong*.

Mick1965 said :

I also think Marist Pearce needs to look at going co-ed.

I can tell you that with my experiences at Dara, it does nothing to stop abuse. Personally, I consensually slept with a female teacher there (considered illegal) and know of at least 2 females who were abused by a teacher whilst I was there.

The school deliberatly covered these abuses up and refused to agknowledge what went on to the point where one of the girls was kicked out for making repeated complaints (or lies as the school said). The teacher involved is one of the favourites at Dara and I hope his recent brain issues finish him off.

I was part of the last all boys year at Dara and although was in Lyons’ class for 2 years, was never once offered to stay at his house. I always found him to be quite weird and cartoonish. We were told he topped himself coz he had mental issues and I hate that I felt sorry for him knowing not what I know now. The school tried to silence a lot of staff from talking and only recognised it once there was too many voices to keep quiet.

Shame on Dara and Marist for letting this sort of shit continue. No child of mine will ever step foot in their gates.

dazednconfused12:06 pm 20 Mar 08

guess the thing is – if you are a kiddy fiddler you would sit back and think “I want access to lots of little boys and I want to minimise the chance I’ll be caught. If I do get caught, I want to be somewhere that I’ll get support….

Well we all know the answer….Marist Pearce!


Your comment actually supports by claim about the corrupting nature of the religious establishment. They are so responsible for this!

dazednconfused12:00 pm 20 Mar 08

The intention is not to put anyone offside, but if the debate gets prickly here I actually think that is a good thing. It is rather boring and unenlightening if we are all patting each other on the back agreeing with each other. My opinions are just that; as are yours. I am chalenging yours Thumper because–and please do not take offence Thumper because I mean this somewhat satirically–this is like having a debate with Gerald Henderson, Andrew Bolt or Piers Ackermann.

By the way I did not vote for Rudd either.

Howard lost but the divisive social debris he left behind will remain for a long time.

And this…

But i guess that’s okay because he’s not conservative, hey? Much better to get into bed with those bastions of human rights the Chinese…

is a false dichotomy. And anyway Kevin “Harry Potter” Rudd is a conservative anyway for most intents and purposes.

And you don’t trust the public service? Fair enough, but where do you get any information about anything that can be verified? Green weekly? The Ausi Freedom Scouts monthly bulletin? The Canberra Times?


I guess the thing is – if you are a kiddy fiddler you would sit back and think “I want access to lots of little boys and I want to minimise the chance I’ll be caught. If I do get caught, I want to be somewhere that I’ll get support. If I’m REALLY lucky they will either not believe the kids or they will cover things up. Oh where does this Eutopia exist?”

Well we all know the answer….Marist Pearce! It’s not really about Catholocism, however I have certainly turned my back on the faith(but this is about as rational as hating blacks because a black man attacked you!).

It’s really mainly about the way it was covered up.

Kostka could have been stopped in 1971. Instead, he went on to ruin lives, and to contribute to people ENDING their lives. Now, it wasn’t covered up because the people involved are Catholic. It was covered up because they thought it was for the better of the school. It could have happened anywhere – just so happened in Marist Pearce.

Even saying this, I must wonder if he would have got away with it at a State school because a State school would not be too worried about the school’s reputation. Maybe we are talking a higher risk in PRIVATE schools?

I also think Marist Pearce needs to look at going co-ed.

dazednconfused11:19 pm 20 Mar 08

I am actually not an atheist. However, I think the evidence against organised religion is overwhelming. I believe the institutions themselves are inherently corrupting. That is my view after much deliberation over many, many years.

The lively debates had in religion classes are really very contrived. If you narrow the scope of the discussion down it is really quite easily to make it seem like you are having a real debate. No catholic school is seriously going to allow any discussion on an issue that does not have the Vatican’s ‘imprimatur’ nor its declaration of ‘Nihil Obstat’. Catholic religious education is indoctrination. For example, we were shown a catholic propaganda film on abortion in religious education in 1987 to make us feel reviled so at to become more committed to church dogma. Issues like abortion are complex and there is no way that catholic school are going to want their students to engage with that complexity.

As for John Howard et. al. they spent their last years schmoozing around with Brain Huston of the evangelical Hillsong church, and the Exclusive Brethren, taking much of their policy cues from them. Call my comment about the tories a pot shot if you will, but the evidence show they aligned themselves favourably with religious extremists. The same religious group who time again again perpetrate and cover up abuse.

And getting back to child abuse, I find the similarity with which these religious groups big or small, establishment or fringe, handle it as UNCANNY.

On the public service, I would not trust any report about education (or any other social issue) that comes out of any commonwealth or state department until the public service has had a real root and branch renewal. I worked in the public service for 10 years and saw the place deteriorate from one that provided frank and fearless advice to one that became simply a propaganda arm of the government whose senior executive began to look as though they were handpicked by the government of the day, seemingly intent to ensure free passage of Howard’s culture war. Good talented intelligent researcher and policy analysts join the ranks of the CPS, these days and are essential asked to leave their brains at the door and become yes men to the minister. All I can say is that Machiavelli was so damn right.

captainwhorebags11:21 am 20 Mar 08

I went to a private Catholic school and don’t remember any religious “brainwashing”. We had compulsory religious education of course, but my impression of it was that it was balanced and sparked lively debate and discussion.

I’m not a religious person at all and lump “fundamentalist atheists” like those posters above in the same bucket as pro-religion nut jobs. One side says the lack of religion is what’s wrong with the world, the other side says religion is what’s wrong with the world. The frothing and name calling is the same.

That child abuse (sexual and otherwise) can happen at a school is reprehensible, regardless of the location. Shutting down all independent schools because of a pattern of abuse at some is not a logical solution. If a pattern of abuse appears in public schools, should we advocate the closure of those as well? Of course not.

dazednconfused19:12 am 20 Mar 08

Thumper. What states can actually spend is dependant on the commonwealth. The commonwealth does not write the states and territories a blank cheque for them to do what they want, and State taxes do not wholly fund education. Your claim that the commonwealth pours money into education is absolutely false. Education is fatally under funded in Australia. You seem to imply that what little money is provided for public education is wasted. This is just Coalition propaganda that has been given ample airing by the newspapers and radio shock jocks for years now. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The point of my post was that private and especially religious based education is a breeding ground for abuse. I do not expect anything will significantly change under Rudd. Some good things will come from Labor’s education revolution but I expect it will still fall short of what are very modest targets. Labor these days is just another conservative party, which is not quite as ultra right wing as the Coalition.

Thumper, all I read into your response is the sort of regressive, reactionary stuff we have been hearing from those people who enjoy bashing public education for the last 11 years.

Now that you have aired your down the line arch conservative Liberal/National party rhetoric, have you anything to add to the discussion about the abuse cover-ups that have been going on in Canberra’s Catholic schools since time immemorial, that have deeply personally affected many of those here that have been contributing to this discussion?

dazednconfused15:29 am 20 Mar 08

I agree with Absent Diane. Private schools and religious education (read indoctrination, brainwashing etc) is a big part of the problem. Just remember that ‘Little Johnny’ spent 11 years ensuring the states and teritories could not adequately fund state schooling while ensuring the Catholic, Protestant and every little bible bashing nut-job frootloop church group could set up their own schools. Hopefully Rudd et al. have the courage to turn this around.

Religous schooling and more generally the nature of religious organisations make them the centres of hypocracy that they are. Religion, as we know have been responsible for nearly all the bloodshed in 7000 years of civilisation. They have been responsible for nearly all the other crimes against humanity in 7000 years of civilisation. Child abuse was not born in the 1970s, and I would suggest that it is religious institutions that provide the most favourable enironments for it to be perpetuated.

No amount of apologetics by pro-religious nut jobs (of any denomination), Cardinal Pell, or any of our former jelly-brained religious teachers can side step this fact.

Absent Diane4:19 pm 19 Mar 08

I have an answer – close down all private religious associated schools.


You want a name?

In another allegation, Porters Lawyers claims that around 1982 a lay teacher persuaded parents of students to let them sleep at his house “for extra tutoring”, and “required two children to sleep with him in his bed”, and sexually assaulted one of them. The child’s parents complained to the school of the alleged sexual assault.

I’ll put money on it that this was Bob Page.

“the Goose”,

Please phone Jason at Porter’s Lawyers – he will want to know all about this!


I was in year 11/12 at Dara in 1981/82.

Did you meet Dr Eric North?

He was a very friendly chap who would entice young men to his house (over the main street) for more than they had expected!

sisterofstudents11:21 pm 18 Mar 08

I’m wondering which “Brother Robert” this was. Do you have any further i.d.?

There is a lot of info to absorb and my head is spinning. Remembering stuff that I had obviously filed into the corners of my memory is very disconcerting.

I lived through 9 years at Marist in the 70s and early 80s and even as a kid realised that there was stuff going on that wasn’t right. Kosta was the main offender but there were others doing equally bad things. I had a bad experience with one Brother Robert – a classic pedaphile with a camera and a nasty habit of taking boys out of classes for long drives in the country and discussions about wanking etc. He was always keen to have you remove your clothes (for arts sake of course) so he could snap away. I’m sure he developed the pictures himself in the marist dark room and has quite a photographic library of naked pubescent boys – or maybe I was the only one???

Whilst I don’t feel particularly like a victim I would love the opportunity to punch him out for taking advantage of me.

Anyone else come across this nasty fucker?

Of course Marist wanted a “nice” article…now THEIR arses are bleeding.

I’m more concerned about the bleeding arses they caused or stuck a proverbial band-aid over.

The real problem here is THAT they are so concerned about their image.

That’s why they built a haven for child abusers – because it was (is?) the ideal environment where they have a smorgasboard to choose from, and get the support of staff and police to cover it all up. Yes – staff and police have covered up since at LEAST the 1970s because they felt the greater good would be served. WAS IT?

Time to stop worrying about reputation and get apologising. I suggest Marist creates and sponsors an effective anti-child abusers program if they want good publicity. Hell, why not just do it BECAUSE THEY FUCKING SHOULD?!?!?!

Canberra Gardener11:16 pm 16 Mar 08

Lets all be very, very clear on this……the problem is not the odd one or two pedophile’s using the school as a kiddy fiddling supermarket, although this is f*%ked up, that isn’t Marist or Daramalan’s problem…..as this can happen anywhere.

The issue for them is that when it was reported to them by teachers, parents and the victims themselves, they not only ignored the complaints, but chose to deliberately not report the crime and cover it up. This was not an isolated event. It happened for decades……….20-30 odd years.

Their actions, or lack thereof, became a direct and undeniable reason why 100’s of young boys where sexually assaulted and raped. They ARE responsible……..as much as the perpetrators……..and yes, we all look forward to the day that the court transcripts read out the truth on this matter. The “List” of willing witnesses is growing by the day…………

DUTY OF CARE………The Canberra Times should print the fact that Marist and Daramalan obviously believe that they have no DUTY OF CARE for the children at their schools……..I am sure the parents of past and current students would beg to differ on that one.

Personally, I am getting tired of people complaining about the school bashing………do they actually realise what was going on? I think the truth coming out on this one, and the learning we as a town and as a society can do from understanding the truth, is far more important than the opinions of a few wealthy upstarts, and the concerns they have about the schools reputation.

Stuff the schools reputation……..it chose to ignore (and support through inaction) the most prolific, wide spread sexual abuse of children in Australia’s educational history.


asking a paper to print good stuff about you is called advertising.

canberracapital7:53 pm 16 Mar 08

Marist has had alot of negative publicity in the paper recently so they asked The canberra times to do a good piece about the school and they did want to hear a thing about it. Its not all teachers that do thsi…its just a select few freaks who choose to do this shit and everyone gets a bad name from it….

Canberra Gardener9:46 am 15 Mar 08

I believe records do show that Marist and Daramalan had a higher than average suicide rate in the 80’s and 90’s. dazednconfused1, I know of the troubled soul you refer to in 1990. A good friend of mine from the school died of cystic fibrosis on the same day. Not a good time for the school. I do feel for the parents, how they must feel……..never to know for sure…….berraboy68, now having children myself, although I cannot imagine what they must be going through, I also know, I hope I never do. My thoughts are with them.

Another matter discussed is Lyons teaching of Diving skills to young boys. Also something I clearly remember of this time (although I never participated) I do remember hearing numerous comments from others around the school of his dodgy diving dealings, but didn’t think much of it. dazednconfused1, it was good to hear your viewpoint on that, another one I hadn’t yet heard. Another piece to the puzzle.

As for Fr Robert Irwin, or Fr Bob Irwin as we called him, he did know. Was told by two teachers and several parental complaints that I know of. However this led to nothing. I cannot comment on Dennis Uhr, he was after my time. My family thought highly of Bob Irwin, until it became apparent to me that he was as complicit in the cover up as many of the others. Unfortunately this realization happened years later.

I think the sad thing is the victims of Lyons and their families will never really be able to get such closure…….that much needed closure…….as you mentioned before, just another issue for us all to deal with.

Keep the posts up, it’s good we are all communicating.

Bring on May 9, when Kostka finally gets sentenced.

Point well made and taken dazednconfused1. I was reporting a conversation with Jason Parkinson from last year. I believe the family of anybody that killed themselves must decide if the case relevant to them is re-opened.

However, here is another scenario with which I am all to well familiar. Lyons was close to my family and attended many family functions including Birthday parties for me and my older brother. (although how is was even invited is beyond me). My brother died of natural causes in 1983, aged 17 while in yr11 at Marist. My mother agonises over whether Paul molested him while he was alive. While I will always maintain my brother was too confident (trust me he was a VERY confident person) to have nbeen abused, my parents will never be able to overcome their concerns/guilt. Bare in mind Lyons also used to taker me out of class etc.. without their permission, and even stood with his hand on my shoulder during my brother funeral. Rightly or wrongly, this kind of feels like he claiming ‘his property’ to me now.

In any event, the bastard is dead. What we are hearing is just the tip of the iceberg and the full extent of the trauma this is causing to ex-students of both Marist and Dara, and their families, will never, ever be known.

dazednconfused19:56 am 14 Mar 08

Just on BerraBoy68’s comments about re-opening investigations into suicides; while I think that it could be a just thing to do particularly for the family that remains; this is apart from the activity making good copy in the newspapers, and good theatre in court, I cannot really see what such an exercise could possibly show. When I was at dara, there was a Year 10 student who suicided in 1990 (anyone at dara at the time will know who that was, and apparently it was because he split with his girl). He was vaguely in that group of students who was close to Paul at the time; but given the onset of 18 years I wonder how you could go about showing causality (with something like that). Honestly, I think you would have to draw a pretty long bow. Not saying that you could not show a link, if you couched it in some sort eloquent lawyer-speak rhetoric that is; but I just cannot help thinking that really what is more relevant is the people who are still alive can air their grievance (if they want to). They are still affected, while the departed are not.

dazednconfused112:51 pm 13 Mar 08

A couple of comments about unhelpful police above are quite interesting and relevant to me. I reported in the early 1990s repeated sexual abuse that happened to me in the early 80s (not school related). I was actually abused by a photographer. Yes, who knows who he has shared that with. Anyway I got a very cold and disinterested response from the police, which just made me think why bother? I started out with the default position not to trust the police in my family and that only reinforced it. I am not going into any more details than that for the moment. If they are going to be so apathetic I should just take the matter in to my own hands was what I thought at the time. Another 18 years later I still feel the same! What comes around and all of that. In light of what happened to me, and with what 20-20 hindsight my pedo radar is sharp as a point. There are I would like to expose, by my own hand.

This whole Paul Lyons thing has completely screwed me up. I went to Daramalan, I heard the rumours and I actually confronted Paul about them on a couple of occasions. There were lots of rumours and I remember once going to civic pool in the summer of 1988/1989 and seeing him hanging around the diving pool exclusively with the youths there. He never touched me inappropriately, and he had plenty of opportunity, maybe that was why I trusted him enough to hang around as long as I did in the 1990s.

Later on Paul did proposition me for sex (from memory about 1994) and when I refused the relationship changed for ever. He seemed disinterested and distant, however was never quite prepared to say so. Like I say Paul “helped” a lot of boys and young men who were vulnerable and struggling, but it seems to be only if they were going to give him something. I guess I did not want to believe that he was expecting that type of reciprocation. I was way too charitable. Now Paul actually knew that someone interfered with me when I was quite a young boy (I told him) and I wonder now if that may have perhaps held him off. Perhaps I was going to be too much of a risk to him? This is all speculation of course. No one really knows. In the end, the way I construct it now is that he “had me parked in a corner” until a suitable time came up. From his point of view I was going to end up in a sexual situation with him one way or another, it was just going to happen more slowly for me. I think in this way he was a true predator and truly only motivated by self interest. His motto could have been “Screw anyone you can…eventually”

At Daramalan we knew that he had students over. I did not think that intrinsically weird at the time because over the course of my school years I went over to plenty of teacher’s houses and nothing happened to me. I remember a time in the early 1990s (I was just out of school a year or so) I went over to his place a couple of times unannounced and he had what was obviously boys from school over with their shirts off sitting in the dark watching movies. There was a string of such similar instances and after that nothing. Again there was really nothing to go on except that as I got older of course I questioned this business of keeping company with youths. I have known quite a few other “gay” men and none of them did this. I think Paul’s insistence that he was “gay” in the orthodox sense at least was pure self deception on his part. Sure, if you were a partner of his and you were in your mid 20s or something there would be no perceptible difference, but manipulating school aged youths is of course something completely different.

Paul, had an opinion on most things and as we talked at lot I got to hear most of them. Must of his views though, really were just constructed to support what he was really doing. And anyone who knew Paul well as many posters here do. Know that he could be arrogantly cocksure.

I read the article in the Australian with passages from the police interview and I can almost hear his voice. I also believe that he decided years ago that if he was ever taken to task about his offending that he was going to suicide. I believe, he decided that outcome long before.

Last thing. I have not heard Fr Robert Irwin mentioned in any posts. He was the principal when Paul was appointed at Daramalan College, not Denis Uhr. The question asked must be how much did Irwin know? Paul said something to me that is really inadmissible here, but I wonder if anyone has seriously looked into how much other MSCs were complicit.

I certainly have some issues to deal with. Maybe not so much as others. In the end I just hope justice does go to the right people.

Those who Paul abused suffered, those who were not were hoodwinked by a manipulative con man.

Thanks again Canberra Gardener for you honesty and openness.

For me it comes back to what I beleive to be a fact, for every boy that has come forward so far on Lyons or Kostka, ther will be dozens who either won’t or can’t, through absolutely no fault of their own. I also feel that many boys have died over this and I understand that Jason Parkinson is asking the coroner to re-open investigations into several suicides at both Dara and Marist.

As I said last time, I hope you find the peace you deserve.

Canberra Gardener9:40 pm 11 Mar 08

Thank you all for your support.

Working backwards. I am sure that it didn’t only happen are Daramalan and Marist. There appears to have been a culture of pedophilia in this region (and others) through the 70,80 and 90’s. The tragic thing is that there allegedly appears to be some inference that certain clergy based groups either condoned it or encourage the participation.

Their have been numerous reported convictions of Marist Brothers all over the eastern states. Now I am not saying that this is limited to the Marist Brothers clergy, as I have information relating to other clergy groups, just tough to get a prosecution in the criminal court without willing participants.

And knowing what the original two victims of Lyons went through (6 yrs of court cases) to get justice, it doesn’t surprise me that other victims won’t come forward. The school and the related clergy groups are quick to offer an apology when all the court cases are finalised and prosecuted, but the Catholic Insurance Office (or Catholic Church Insurers) will fight to the very bitter end to protect these filthy freaks. How they sleep at night I don’t know. They obviously don’t go home to their own children.

I understand other schools in Canberra will be dragged into this disgusting net, but the more people that come forward and talk (recommend through your lawyer) the more chance others will see they are not alone, and the more chance we all have of the truth coming out. Only with the truth can these filthy pedophiles realise that it isn’t the done thing anymore.

Broken Rights are all over this with no discrimination against religion or clergy based organisation. There site (link above) is worth a look.

Sepi, I am saddened to agree with you. It appears that the police haven’t been too helpful in the past. Sad to hear that the only one’s that can help the average person with a criminal conviction are not terribly interested. I think they just stuff it into the too hard basket.

Berraboy68, it is a very interesting comment about Marist destroying Lyons file. Not the first time I have heard this. Although, I ask myself, why would an organisation destroy something when they had nothing to hide?…simple…..they wouldn’t. To me it is clear they were complicit in this, and shifted him to Daramalan.

Knowing what was happening, but realising that people were also starting to put two and two together and started complaining. Yet they did nothing, but sent him to a new breeding ground. Where is the duty of care? Not at Marist that is for sure……….some also say not at Penthurst either.

Also I agree with you on Jason Parkinson. He is a lawyer, and he is doing his job. But what sets him out from the rest is that he gives a shit, and he genuinely is trying to help and reset the status quo. Sure he is getting his cut from all this……..but we all have bills to pay…..and he is no different. He has put a LOT of time, effort and his own money into this, so I would happily recommend him to any victim who needs some help.
Again, if anyone wants to contact Jason Parkinson, http://www.porterslawyers.com.au or lawyers@porterslawyers.com.au (for the civil case) or http://www.afp.gov.au/contact.html (for criminal charges)

I know I opened a small can of worms with my earlier post, and I really do appreciate the support about me feeling guilty for not doing anything. You guys are right, I shouldn’t feel guilty…….but it doesn’t change the fact that I do…….and always have. That’s just another demon for me to deal with.

I need to be clear that I never wanted to make other victims feel guilty……I am just still angry that people didn’t try harder to deal with this when it was going on. Angry at the other teachers, the school management, clergy and the parents of those involved. But……I do understand that when you’re a parent faced with the issue and your child is involved, (and probably also wants to keep it quiet) you have to make the right choice for your child. But as for the rest of them…….you DO have a duty of care. Remember that…….cause one day, people may come after you too.

Lastly, Zilog……thanks for your post. Although I haven’t agreed with everything you have said in the past on this one, you do provide an alternate viewpoint to my own. You posted on another related post “In fact Lyons was so ’successful’ precisely because he was a warm, likeable chap, and a very fine teacher. Devices, perhaps.”…………..you got it in one.

Lyons device was that he was a great teacher and a good guy…….to many. Most didn’t even realise they had been abused until much later. But I disagree with your second point above that he was just a gay guy with a predilection for the young.

The way I see it, is any male adult that uses devices (alcohol, drugs, shooting, etc) and a schoolyard to shop for underage sex partners is a sick f*@king pedophile. He preyed on the vulnerable. He preyed on young boys, and some were eventually raped by him. Some of the abuses happened over a very long period of time……and regularly. He did it for his own pleasure without consideration for the damage he was doing………….the fact that many believed he was a great guy only bought him time from complaints from being lodged.

A device both before and after. Clever…….sick and f*@ked up……but clever.

To me the abuse was inexcusable, and must be punished when it can be………..but the message must be sent to those who not only did nothing, but knowingly covered it up and ignored it. The culture of the cover-up must be broken. This must be broken in the ranks of the clergy……in the ranks of the politicians…………and the schools management who only said nothing because they were worried about the reputation of the school.

What about the victims……..100’s….maybe 1000’s of them……….some say an ENTIRE GENERATION OF BOYS in Canberra.

I visited Cambodia a few years ago, for a month or so. What freaked me out, was not the unimaginable sick shit that the Khmer Rouge did to millions of victims, or how they chose their victims……but that they ran a very large army of 10-15yr old boys (because they were easily influenced and controlled) who performed all the killings and atrocities that no horror writer could EVER come up with……….what I couldn’t (and still can’t) get out of my mind, was that I was surrounded by 40-45 yr old men that were raised on that horror…………and what were they capable of now??????????????

People haven’t yet quite realised that this town will take a long time to heal. A lot of the victims have probably left town, and tried to put it behind them………I honestly feel for them, wherever they are….and hope that they don’t have to live the horror anymore.

Did this stuff only happen at Marist & Darra; or is the class action likely to bring any more cases from other independent schools (boys & girls)into the open?

I was at Dara during his tenure and can confirm that he wasn’t the only one doing this sort of stuff. A female friend of mine was repeadedly locked in a classroom and forced to watch as a senior member of the teaching staff pleasured himself. The girl reported it to staff who dismissed the claim, calling her a slut and basically kicking her out.

She refuses to come forward, but I hope his name gets brought up in all this so she’ll feel like she wasn’t the only one.

Said teacher has apparently had a few brain issues of late, so hopefully God takes him and sends him down where he belongs.

ant – I spoke to BrokenRites a few weeks ago and they’re already all over this. Their site will be updated shortly with the relevant details.

Another poster to RIOTACT (named zee)also recently updated Marist Canberra’s wikipedia entry with all the relvant details. If anybody from Dara has the ability, time and cunning, I think it’s an excellent strategy for spreading the word!

Regarding Paul Lyons – many people don’t realise that Paul Lyons and his family were highly respected members of the Queanbeyan community. They owned the petrol station on Tharwa Road and were actively involved in community affairs. Paul Lyons was also a top marksman and was selected in the Olympic shooting team for the 1980 Moscow Olympics (the shooting team joined the US-led boycott). I’ve already stated here how I met him at the gay beat – the toilet block – on Crawford Street (near Qbn Oval, the Court House and the cop shop). I thought he was just another bi guy on the beat. He told me he was a teacher at Marist and I never thought anything more of it. I thought they had their own screening procedures in place to weed out the scum in much the same way as the rock spiders had been kept out of the government schools.

Lyons had a definite sadistic streak – he used to pin me down and tickle me during sex. He also had elephantitis in his scrotum which was abnormally large. After meeting him a few times on the beat there was no more sex – we used to just drive around Queanbeyan. My last meeting with him was in March 1988.

Hopefully the whole grubby truth about Lyons’s extra-curricular activities with young boys will finally come out and we can finally bring the curtain down on this unsavoury business once and for all.

el ......Turbo V8 Recumbent Bicycle3:37 pm 09 Mar 08


And I agree with Zilog’s point number 3 – there’s no shame in being a VICTIM.

I hope that you (and all the other participants of these various threads) can get through to the other side of this horrendous betrayal from those there to ‘guide’ you as a child – ‘Closure’ is probably the wrong word as it’ll stay you forever.

All the best.

There’s an action and support group for people in the situations of Canberra Gardener and Berra boy and the others. Called Broken Rites, I think.
Here they are:

I am so sorry for every one this happened to.

I think the church/school principals must have truly not understood the ongoing pain this sort of abuse causes. Othewise how could they not have stopped it?

And 30 years ago this type of this was not spoken about openly. Parents may have just not known what to do. they may even have asked their pastor for advice….

It is much healthier that society can now talk about these things. I am sure that systemic abuse is no longer occurring in schools.

And if victims are not ready to go public then so be it. You have to look after yourself first. Perhaps start with counceling, before going public to family and friends, if that would be easier. And if you don’t like the first councelor, try another one. They aren’t all the same.

Congrats Gardener on having the guts to talk about this horror in your life. As a victim of sexual abuse in a church situation, I hear your comments clearly. It is normal to ignore the pain – put it in the bottom drawer as you say – for many years, but their comes a time when you just have to bring it out, and clean up the mess that has accumulated as a result.
The first stage usually is a cathartic experience, when you bring it into the light and let it all out (hopefully in a safe place with people you can trust not to abuse you further). You have started this here. I trust you can find an appropriate person who will act as a healing agent for you.
From experience – my comments would be – You are starting a journey of healing that may take some time to fully travel through. Give yourself all the time you need – even several years. Secondly – don’t be afraid of the pain. It will hurt like hell, but like when you are treating a long standing ulcer, you need to keep on cleaning out the gunk that comes. It hurts, but eventually it will allow your soul to heal, until it no longer hurts – even though you will be left with a scar.

Canberra Gardener – a good summary of what’s happening and whet everybody else is feeling.

This is the very reason a mate and myself went to the Canberra times last year – the focus was on Lyons at Dara but there was a much bigger picture. His time at Marist, his going to Dara, Kostka’s relationship to Lyons and their mutually aborant habits.. all of it was too big to ignore. A side issues, Kostka was smiling throughout Lyons funeral, I know I was there. At the time we were told Lyons had topped himself due to Alzeimers (another Lie) and his crimes were yet to come out. My personal belief now is that Kostka was smiling as he thought that the one person able to betray him was no dead – remember Lyons had already confessed to at least on crime at Dara and had nothing else to lose.

I have been told that Lyons records were destroyed by Marist shortly after he left the school. WHY? This becomes a bigger issue if we ask if his appointment at Dara was due to a reference from Marist. If so why wouldn’t Dara parents sue Marist for breaching its duty of care?

ALso why won’t the other three MAraist teachers invovled in the current case be named. Naming these pricks gives their victims the chance to know they ARE NOT ALONE! There is safety and comfort in numbers and therefore more chance they can be heard and receive justice

Finally, let me say this. Ex-students (both marist and Dara) are talking. What I’m hearing is that there is greater support for victims of Lyons Kostka et.al than the victims ever realize. My advice is to see Jason Parkinson. I’ve had several conversations with him about bringing Kostka to justice and he seems to be a good guy. I think his heart is in the right place.

Whatever you choose – I wish you only the best. And you’re right – we are coming for them. All of us together!

1. Many (most?) parents would have contacted police. And undoubtedly been fobbed off. And care exercised to keep no record of the contact. I know of several young women and their families who have never received any co-operation from ACT police in relation to sexual assault. They’d much prefer you faded away. Just like the rest of society, really. The offenders failed them; the school failed them; the police failed them, and finally the parents failed them if they chose not to acknowledge reality and move the boy. The most crushing failure of all, I would suggest. Sadly many parents didn’t and couldn’t give fig.

2. The evidence suggests Kostka was a paedophile in the true sense, however Lyons was more likely a gay bloke with a predilection for the young; a crucial distinction. Neither of which is very unusual in itself. But for some reason in many peoples minds 1 + 1 = 1001. It may just equal 2.

3. There are few good reasons not to come clean now. Nobody thinks any less of you because of what you have suffered. No-one worth a pich of shit, anyway. It is NEVER a crime, NOR is it shameful, to be a VICTIM of crime. If you’re deluding yourself in this way, it’s you who is beating up on you. And civil proceedings are much easier on victims, less public and less traumatic, than criminal trials. So go for it. The notion that fraudulent claims are likely to be lodged is rather ridiculous in the circumstances. And in any case, so what? And courts are much less inclined to dismiss plaintiffs out-of-hand in the way police dismiss complainants. Their is strength in numbers.

4. If we could identify where these personalities were before Pearce, we’d undoubtedly discover a much larger morass. Nat Library electoral records may assist here, though they’re quite un-consolidated pre-1980. You’d have to look in at least 120-odd spots, unfortunately.

5. No-one wakes up with an urge to be a paedophile; it develops, like all sexuality, in childhood. Ipso facto, they have VERY likely been offending since childhood. That’s a 30-year blank space in Kostka’s case. My interest is not voyeurism; rather I think it likely things would be found in his past that would amplify the extent of Marist’s culpability, and amplify the damages payable. And who’d mind that?

6. Can anyone guess why the NSW ALP mafia have moved draconian “crowd control” legislation for World Youth Day? I know why. I can read between lines. There won’t be any “shaming” of the guilty if Pell can help it. And the long-standing suspicion around Pell himself remains. Allegations in relation to him only petered out because of questions of identity and the passing of time. But when someone distinctly recalls being abused by someone referred to as “George”, by someone who bore a resemblance to Pell, and by a person at a place and time at which Pell was present? Don’t they say fish rot from the head down?

7. Given that those who reported it were almost invariably further abused by the inaction of “authorities”, no-one need feel the slightest guilt for having not reported matters earlier. Ironically, they did instill some excellent values, including never to blame the victim. Should’ve paid more attention to their own advice. Might have saved us a misery, and they a motza.

Wow. Thanks for your post.

I wonder what was going on in their own heads, how they reconciled the abuse with their Christianity. Did they know what they were doing was wrong, and the whole Christian thing was just a cover which they didn’t believe in at all? Did they just think it was a vice and asked (and received) God’s forgiveness every time? Or did they somehow think it wasn’t wrong?

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