MN- Victims blast neighbors of cult leader
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
We are very upset at those in Pine County Minnesota who suspected wrongdoing at Victor A. Barnard's compound but kept silent about it. We call on each and every one of them who saw or heard or experienced unusual behavior there to contact law enforcement officials immediately.
Barnard has been charged with dozens of counts of sexually assaulting young woman and girls. We commend the brave victims who have come forward and to law enforcement for tirelessly working to find this dangerous predator.
News accounts quote several neighbors who said things like
“I didn’t expect it to be anything good that was going on down there"
“It’s been the buzz around here [with regard to the sexual abuse allegations]”
We are appalled that these individuals - and who knows how many more - kept quiet about this.
When will people finally realize that they should trust their instincts and call the police when anything unusual seems to be happening to or with children? When will people finally start erring on the side of acting responsibly instead of acting timidly? When will people finally understand that where there's smoke, there very often is indeed fire?
We hope anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Barnard will immediately call police. It is never too late to report the truth and help protect other children and vulnerable adults.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata (952-471-3422, firstname.lastname@example.org), Frank Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180, email@example.com), Verne Wagner of Duluth (218-340-1277, firstname.lastname@example.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.