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Mount Cashel: After 30 years, the pain still has not gone away

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Ask Billy Earle if time heals all wounds.

You get a look, a long breath and an honest answer.

« That’s a hypothetical question, » said the former victim of abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s.

February marks the 30th anniversary of the reopening of a covered-up police investigation into child abuse at the orphanage that the lay order of Christian Brothers ran for more than a century in the east end of St. John’s.

In the weeks and months after the police investigation was reopened, the media reported countless details of abuse that boys who were placed at the orphanage had suffered, and the Newfoundland and Labrador government ordered a public inquiry to investigate what went wrong.

The subsequent Hughes inquiry’s proceedings were televised — often across Canada, thanks to then-new cable news channels — and took captivated viewers inside a scandal that involved the police, the top levels of government and the Roman Catholic church. 

Where a Sobeys supermarket now looks over the houses of an infill subdivision used to stand a building where decades of physical and sexual abuse was carried out by the very men trusted to care for troubled and vulnerable children.

It has been three decades since an investigation into allegations of child abuse was reopened after a coverup in the ’70s. (CBC)

The first Mount Cashel resident to go public was Billy’s younger brother, Shane. From his revelations in the press spilled more disturbing stories from more victims.

Three decades later, coverups of institutional abuse — one case after another, in countries everywhere — are still rocking the Catholic Church. But it was the stories told in 1989 by men about what happened when they were young boys at a St. John’s orphanage that drew the world’s attention.

‘I was 10 years old. It was a nightmare’

It isn’t easy for Earle to think back to 1975, when he told a police officer of the abuse he and Shane suffered at the hands of the brothers at Mount Cashel. 

Billy Earle testifies at the Hughes commission in 1989. (CBC)

« It’s not much different than the day it began, » he said. « To think about what happened 44 years ago. I was 10 years old. It was a nightmare. »

The Earle brothers’ young lives were complicated. Their parents divorced, and handling the needs of seven kids — four girls and three boys — was too much. The boys were placed in Mount Cashel to ease the burden. 

Although called an orphanage, Mount Cashel’s residents were often not orphans. Many of the children were placed there as wards of the state because of problems at home. 

Life in the orphanage became a life of torture for the Earle boys. After two years of witnessing and enduring abuse, they snuck out and made their way to their father to reveal what was happening. 

Graphic details taken in original investigation

That set off a cascade of events, of meetings with police and social workers. A Newfoundland Constabulary investigation started, and 21 boys were interviewed.

The youngsters, ranging in age from nine to 17, detailed graphic examples of physical and sexual abuse.  

Det. Robert Hillier testifies at the Hughes Commission in 1989. On Dec. 9, 1975, Hillier began an investigation into allegations of abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage. Nine days later, he was ordered by RNC Chief John Lawlor to end the investigation and file a report. He was also ordered to remove all references to sexual assault from his report. (CBC)

In 1975, they told the police investigator that they were targeted by three brothers who fondled, kissed, raped and beat them. The statements taken from the boys at police headquarters talk of brothers sneaking into beds, lying on top of them as they slept. There was forced masturbation, as well as violent thrashings. 

Revealing the secrets from inside Mount Cashel gave a young Billy Earle some hope.

« Hopefully they were going to do something with the scandal that was going on behind closed doors, » he said.

« Brought in, give police statements and thought, ‘Great, we’ll have it all dealt with.’ Figured we had a concrete foundation around us. There was nothing ever done, and we were back in the hands of the abusers. »

A well-protected secret

What followed, though, was a deliberate effort by senior public servants, church officials, police brass and politicians to not only cover up the sins of the Christian Brothers, but to deliberately hide what had happened.

Reporter Philip Lee says the Mount Cashel story was, in many ways, the biggest story he’s ever worked on. (CBC)

Their actions remained a well-protected secret for 14 years. 

Philip Lee was 25 years old when he started writing Mount Cashel stories at the Sunday Express, a weekly newspaper in St. John’s, in 1989. 

« I was a young reporter and it was really the first big story that I ever worked on, » he said. « In many ways it was the biggest story that I ever did work on. »

Mount Cashel enjoyed a good reputation in the community. It was a favoured charity and an example of « the good work » of the church. 

Mount Cashel in 1996. (CBC)

« I was fairly new to St. John’s at the time and I didn’t know where Mount Cashel was. I had to get a map out, » Lee said in an interview.

« And I remember driving over there and going into the parking lot and knocking on the front doors and asking some questions at the time. »

Those questions and the answers that followed tore open a scandal that was at once a combination of pain, relief and recoil. Months later, by the time the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Response of the Newfoundland Criminal Justice System to Complaints started holding hearings with Justice Samuel Hughes, the story of Mount Cashel was already legend.

Lawyer Geoff Budden says ‘this evil of child abuse can be controlled but it can’t be eradicated, apparently.’ (CBC)

Geoff Budden was a young lawyer when Mount Cashel unfolded, and he has built his law practice around suing on behalf of victims of abuse. His first client from the orphanage came to him in 1991.

Since then, he has represented 110 victims of abuse at Mount Cashel.

« I did realize pretty quickly that this was not a local story, » he said.

« This was not a story of St. John’s, or Newfoundland or even Canada. There were lawyers, commentators, church officials, writers of various sorts throughout North America and throughout the world who were paying attention to what was happening with Mount Cashel and were drawing lessons from it. »

In 3 decades, abusers have changed, too

In the 30 years since that covered-up police investigation in St. John’s was reopened, the shock of child sexual abuse has become a daily story from somewhere in the world. The internet means predators have moved from the halls of a long-gone orphanage into the bedrooms of vulnerable young people who are lured through their smartphones.

What about the government officials, the politicians, the coverup with the police? There was nothing ever done with them.– Billy Earle

« This evil of child abuse can be controlled but it can’t be eradicated, apparently, » Budden said.

« I think there will always be people who by reasons of illness of some sick and frustrated power dynamic will want to sexually exploit children. New times present new problems. I don’t think we can never not be vigilant as a parent, as a society. »

Billy Earle said time and healing is « hypothetical. » What’s not hypothetical, though, is that he says not everyone involved felt justice was evenly delivered.

« A lot of guys who went through the inquiry are very sick. Close friends of mine have committed suicide, » Earle said.

« We talk about the Christian Brothers who paid their dues big time and went to jail. What about the government officials, the politicians, the coverup with the police? There was nothing ever done with them. »

Mount Cashel is gone, replaced by a grocery store overlooking residential homes. (CBC)

Three decades later, Lee believes the characters who orchestrated the cover up of that 1975 investigation « didn’t think twice about the boys. » 

« It’s disappointing that they didn’t have the courage, or the moral courage, to come forward and say what they did and admit that they had done wrong, » Lee said. 

That wrong allowed an evil to roam through Mount Cashel, piling pain on victims for years to come.

And it’s a pain that is still inflicted on children because, for whatever reason, the lesson of Mount Cashel was never fully learned.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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