Tuesday, June 21, 2016

ORCHESTRATED? - PART 4

A Night at the Opera: Wagner’s Götterdämmerung

I keep hearing the question about why Apuron's victims are coming forward now. One particular talk show host continues to bring it up, perhaps for no other reason than it makes for interesting speculation about a conspiracy. I've called in and answered the question on his show but I haven't heard him use my explanation when the question arises, so I'm going to detail it here for the record. 

In doing so, I am having to fast forward a bit from my storyline as we left it in Part 3, but no matter, we'll get back to it. In fact, it probably makes for a better story to jump forward and backward since all the pieces tie together and ultimately are connected to one large cover up of Apuron's horrific acts. 

I already explained in Part 1 how Apuron went to Rome and tried to shut me up by getting the Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem to write me a cease and desist order. I further explained how I wondered why he did that as it seemed out of all proportion to what I was doing, merely blogging about his already very public battle with Father Paul. 

In hindsight, the real reason Apuron needed to shut me up was because my blog was beginning to provide a forum for secrets that were supposed to remain secrets, but now, under the cover of anonymity on a very public blog, those secrets might leak out. 

In late 2013, the page views were exploding. I remember hitting 5000, 10,000, 15,0000, 20,000. It seemed unreal. I could also see that the hits to the blog were coming from around the world. There was some serious interest and I really did not know why. 

Walter

My understanding is that Walter Denton came to Guam sometime in the summer of 2015 for the funeral of a relative. At a family gathering he overheard talk about Apuron and the growing problems of the local church. According to a woman present at the time, Walter apparently blurted out that he had been molested by Apuron when he was an altar boy in Agat. 

The account was related by the woman to Patti Arroyo on her talk show on August 19, 2015. I was on the phone with Patti at the time and we were speaking about the allegations made by John Toves who had called in earlier. You can listen to the whole call here

I am already on record several times saying that I had heard of the "Agat boys" rumors for years, especially after having moved to Agat 20 years ago. The rumor was always the same: Apuron, when he was pastor of Mt. Carmel parish in Agat in the 1970's, had molested several boys. No one ever knew any names, but the rumor never went away. 

And then it happened

Then, on Januray 15, 2014, about a year and a half before Walter returned to Guam for his relative's funeral, what Apuron feared - and the reason he tried to get a Cardinal in Rome to shut me up - happened. Someone left this:

Oh, so now SNAP is on the Archbishop's side? Wait for those boys in Agat to speak up...then we'll see what side they take.
It was then followed a few comments later by this:



What boys in Agat are you referring to? You creating a whole different mess. There is already enough drama!
The date/time stamp is hyperlinked so you can click on it to go to the original comment and view the context. 

All the key words were there: Archbishop, boys (plural), Agat. However, this comment sounded like the commenter knew "those boys." 

Still I wasn't interested in pursuing this. One can see from my posts at the time that I never addressed it. I was much more interested in exposing the absolutely vile and canonically illegal actions Apuron was taking against Fr. Paul. 
January of 2014 was when Apuron and Fr. Paul were publicly engaged in Fr. Paul's demand for an apology from Apuron for what he said about him at the clergy retreat the previous October.  At the retreat, Apuron had insinuated that Fr. Paul was in a homosexual relationship with the former parish employee Apuron had ordered Fr. Paul to fire. Apuron had only feigned an apology and told Fr. Paul to "cool it."

In hindsight, the timing is "ironic." Apuron's false accusation about Fr. Paul being in a sexual relationship, occasioned the first ever public mention of Apuron's sexual and psychological mutilation of young boys. 

Back to the phone call with Patti and the woman from Agat. 

After the comments just copied above, this phone call was the second public mention of the events of 40 years ago. And it was an arrow straight through the heart. The woman calling was the daughter of a man who had served the parish for many years, and had known Apuron well. The man let his children know that upon his death, Apuron was NOT to be the priest who presided at his funeral. The woman then said "it was then that I knew that my father knew something." 

Walter's name was not mentioned in the phone call, but somebody was listening who knew who the woman on the radio was referring to. It was another woman who had known "Tony" well, and also knew Walter. (I was to meet this woman later.) 

The woman who "knew Tony well" got a hold of John Toves. I'm not sure what happened step by step, but John, who had also been an Agat altar boy, knew Walter, and sent him a friend request on Facebook. Walter accepted. After a couple of communications, John recommended that Walter call me. He did. 

I found out that Walter had already sent his account to Rome. I didn't know how he got around to doing this until I heard Walter talk of it during his interviews here with the media a couple weeks ago. According to Walter, he had approached a lawyer friend of his who had instructed him to write "the nuncio" and to be as detailed as possible. 

Some may wonder what prompted Walter to do this after 40 years and it was no doubt two things.

First, unlike the other two who have come forward so far, Walter confronted his molester some 20 years later at a party in Washington state. Apuron's treatment of him at this meeting apparently angered Walter all the more. As compensation for raping him, Apuron gave Walter a picture of the Virgin Mary, a CD of Apuron singing, and a picture of himself. Walter recounted this encounter a couple of different times when he was here recently and you can hear the disgust in Walter's voice as if it happened yesterday. 

The second thing which seemed to have prompted Walter was his hearing about all the hell Apuron was causing during his trip here in the summer of 2015. This seems to have caused him to blurt out that Apuron had molested him. Whatever moved him, it is quite apparent from hearing any of Walter's talks about what Apuron did to him that the scars he bears are just below the surface, and probably merely hearing Apuron's name after 40 years caused him to snap and decide to actually do something about it. 

Walter had already done something about it when he called me. He had sent his letter to Rome at the instruction of his attorney friend. I asked for a copy of that letter. Walter sent it to me on 9/11/15. I didn't realize it was 9/11 until I looked at the email again just now. Hmmmm. (Actually, I now remember that Walter emailed me the same day I spoke with him. So my first personal encounter with him was also on 9/11.)

In his email cover note, Walter told me that the Vatican office he sent his letter to had advised him to get an attorney. Walter advised that he didn't have money for an attorney and that he did not think his letter was going anywhere. After reading the letter, which contained the most horrid details of the night Apuron raped him, I decided I was going to help Walter. 

I had guessed that the Vatican office which had responded to Walter had advised him to get an attorney because Rome was not about to take action against a sitting bishop with little more than a letter (though for an ordinary priest, they certainly would have - which is unfortunate.). I knew that in order for Rome to take Walter seriously we were going to have to find another victim.

(I will insert here that at the time I had also tried to get Walter an attorney. I set up a meeting with an attorney from Guam who was in the states at the time to meet with Walter. I understood that the meeting took place. I never heard why the attorney decided not to take the case, but it may have been for the same reason the Vatican did not take it up: 1) it involved a bishop, and 2) there was only one victim and nothing else with which to corroborate Walter's story.)

Walter had mentioned that he knew there were other boys. I asked him if he knew who they were. He said he did but that they did not want to come forward. I asked him to keep working on them because we needed another victim. 

Meanwhile, I got back to the Vatican office and advised them that Walter did not have the money for an attorney, and even if he did, the statute of limitations would prevent him from taking any legal action against Apuron. But regardless of Walter's ability to find another victim who would come forward or to take legal action, I advised the Vatican official that Rome at least had the duty to confront Apuron personally and ask him if the allegations were true. 

I did not hear back from the Vatican official after that, but a few months later Walter told me that he had gotten a call from Bishop Olmsted, the bishop of Phoenix, the diocese where Walter lives. Apparently the Vatican office Walter had contacted - and I had followed up with - had taken action. I don't know if they ever confronted Apuron. The nature of Bishop Olmsted's call was pastoral. He wanted to help Walter however he could. 

Stop for a moment and contrast Bishop Olmsted's action toward Walter with Archbishop Hon's. Olmsted was doing what the church and his own priesthood required him to do. He did not try to determine if Walter's story was true. He simply and personally reached out to him and offered him support in whatever way Walter was in need. Hon has not only NOT done that, he has effectively MOCKED the accounts of Roy, Doris, Walter and Roland, publicly comparing their accounts with a story about a woman who falsely accused a bishop. 

Of course, as already mentioned. Not only has Hon not personally reached out to any one of these four, no priest has done so either. But moving on. 

Since John Toves had been an altar boy in Agat, and since Walter had said that he knew that Apuron had molested other boys, I asked John to write down the names of as many altar boys as he could remember and send it to me. He did. At this point (around October) I also lost touch with Walter for awhile. He didn't return my emails or my calls. I realized that Walter had no reason to trust me. The Church he had loved and served had crapped on him and up to that point, and as far as he knew, his letter had been ignored. I knew I had to find another victim. 

R.S.

I poured through the list John sent me. I had a bit of a tip. Walter had shared the initials of one of the boys with me: R.S. That's it. On the list John sent was the name "Roland Sondia." R. S. I googled the name and found that Roland Sondia still lived and worked in Guam. By coincidence Roland's company was doing business just then with a friend of mine and he was meeting with Roland on a regular basis. I asked my friend to approach Roland and see how he responds to the name "Apuron." 

Meanwhile, I got a tip from another friend. I mentioned the name Roland Sondia to him and he said that "yes," he knew who he was and had seen him at family functions. In fact, he had been talking about Apuron to him recently and Roland had responded in a strange way saying that Apuron "had problems," and it was obvious that Roland did not want to talk about him.

I pressed my friend who was doing business with Roland to meet with him soon. He did. I don't know the content of that meeting but the answer came back affirmative. Roland had been molested by Apuron. Now there were two. I sent word to the Vatican office. I still did not know how we were going to go forward. 

My friend had let Roland read Walter's letter, and apparently it prompted Roland to call a friend in Hawaii who had also been an altar boy with Roland. Roy Quintanilla answered, and answered "yes," he had been molested too. Now there were three. 

Soon thereafter, Roy and Walter flew to Guam to meet with Roland. All three agreed they wanted nothing more than to confront Apuron personally and privately and have him take responsibility for what he did to them. But while they were here, they also began reaching out to other former altar boys and names started popping up. 

I sat down with them at a meeting a couple days later and asked them to consider going public. My reason was that there were certainly others who had suffered as they had, and may not come forward on their own. Indeed, not even these three were willing to come forward until they had learned about each other. They agreed. They knew what Apuron would do to them if they did and so did I. We would have to be careful as to how we went about this. 



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