Tuesday, June 25, 2024

APURON'S NOT DONE AND I HOPE HE SUBPOENAS ME

By Tim Rohr


In a recent post, I shared the pope's case against Archbishop Vigano and Vigano's defiant response. For a summary of what's going on, see National Catholic Register's recent post: "Archbishop Viganò’s Astonishing Transformation from Vatican Insider to Alleged Schismatic."

Here in Guam, we should pay special attention. If not for Vigano, many of us are very sure that Apuron would still be Archbishop of Agana. And here's why.

On March 16, 2018, the Holy See Press Office published the following release:

The canonical trial of minors, brought against the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan APURON,OFMCap., Archbishop of Agaña, Guam, has been concluded. The Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation, composed of five judges, has issued its sentence of first instance, finding the accused guilty of certain of the accusations and imposing upon the accused the penalties of privation of office and prohibition of residence in the Archdiocese of Guam.

The sentence remains subject to possible appeal. In the absence of an appeal, the sentence becomes final and effective. The penalties are suspended until final resolution.

For whatever reason, the release did not specify what exactly Apuron was found guilty of. And as expected, Apuron, or more precisely, his people, immediately pounced on the opportunity to exploit the vague "verdict," claiming that it didn't say he was found guilty of child sex abuse.

However, the release was later amended to include a clearer announcement:

PRESS RELEASE OF THE APOSTOLIC COURT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

The canonical process in relation to the accusations, including those of child sexual abuse, charged against the Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Agaña, Guam, has concluded.

The Apostolic Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, composed of five judges, issued the sentence of first instance, declaring the defendant guilty of some of the accusations and imposing to the defendant the penalties of termination from office and the prohibition of residence in the Archdiocese of Guam.

The sentence remains subject to an appeal. In the absence of an appeal, the sentence becomes final and effective. In the event of an appeal, the penalties imposed are suspended until the final resolution.

It's a bit clearer since the first paragraph states "including those of child sexual abuse," but the "clarification" still retains the vague language of "guilty of some of the accusations." The reader has to put 2 and 2 together and get 5 to figure out what Apuron was found guilty of - and a hard assumption can be made from the severity of the sentence: "termination from office and the prohibition of residence in the Archdiocese of Guam" - though his supporters spun the penalty as evidence that Apuron did not abuse minors:

If the archbishop has been found guilty of sexual abuse of minors, the penalty leveled against him is unusual - often a cleric found guilty of such crimes would be "laicized," or removed from the clerical state, sources said. - CNA. Aug. 28, 2018

The reference to "Guam" made the release sound even weirder, coming from such a high office in the Vatican, given that there is no "Archdiocese of Guam." Rather, it is officially the "Archdiocese of Agana."

At the time, those of us who had been in the heat of this battle for several years, recognized the Vatican mumbo-jumbo regarding such a serious matter as evidence that a certain highly-placed, neo-friendly cardinal had tampered with the announcement, and that said tampering was a red flag that there was more tampering to come. Saving Apuron was critical to the agenda of the Neocat generals so we expected Apuron to appeal and he did:

After he was found guilty, Apuron released a statement insisting on his innocence and announcing his appeal.

"I have been informed of the conclusion of the first instance canonical trial against me. While I am relieved that the tribunal dismissed the majority of the accusations against me, I have appealed the verdict," he said.

"God is my witness; I am innocent and I look forward to proving my innocence in the appeals process," the statement read. - CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY, August 28, 2018

Given that Cardinal Raymond Burke, probably the Vatican's most competent cardinal and lawyer, had been at the head of the Apuron investigation from the outset, we knew he had most likely presented the water-tight case that got the guilty verdict and booted Apuron out of Agana and that there was little possibility of Apuron winning an appeal.

We also must remember that Apuron was the first bishop in modern times to stand trial before a Vatican tribunal for crimes against minors. In fact, one of the reasons it took so long for the Vatican to take action is because at the time accusations against Apuron came to the attention of the Vatican there was no protocol in place to handle a bishop who had been thus accused. 

Bishops had been accused of such crimes before but none were put on trial. They were either removed by agreement or resigned their office. So why did Apuron go to trial? We have to continually remind ourselves that Apuron was never acting on his own. He was a pawn in a much larger power game orchestrated by the Neocat generals who had a lot to lose on their world stage since Apuron was their number one "priest-maker" - a key component to the expansion of power within the Church by the NCW. 

It's not over

And do not think that this is over. Apuron's personal abuse case in Guam has yet to go to trial: "Trial eyed in abuse cases against Apuron, others..." And besides "I didn't do it," Apuron's defense will be that he is a victim of a calumnious conspiracy orchestrated by me:

The church meanwhile is also accusing Martinez of being part of a conspiracy or the "Rohr Group" to topple the archbishop. (KUAM, June 3, 2016. Also see Apuron's press releases here and here.)

In 2012, a blog called “Jungle Watch” was created online, attacking Archbishop Apuron and the Neocatechumenal Way, accusing them of manipulating the prelate and “colonizing” the entire Agaña diocese. The site is managed by Tim Rohr, a real estate agent employed by Msgr. Benavente and involved in the projected sale of the seminary. - La Stampa. Sep. 21, 2017 

Note: I was never involved in the "projected sale of the seminary," as the record now shows. In response to the false allegations about my role, I was prepared to sue Apuron and the Archdiocese, but decided to hold back and let the truth come out via the real victims.

While it was a given that Apuron would appeal, a strange twist came when Pope Francis announced that he was bypassing the normal course of appeals and would be judging Apuron's appeal himself:

The pope explained that in considering Apuron's appeal, he is bypassing the traditional "giuria"--the council of bishops that make up a tribunal--and will be considering the appeal himself. This is because Apuron's situation is a "very difficult case." - CNA, August 28, 2018

Notice the date of the report of the pope's decision: August 28, 2018. Six days earlier, on August 22, 2018 *, Archbishop Vigano had shocked the Catholic world with a now-infamous 11-page letter wherein he blew the whistle on the now-defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as well as the entire Vatican apparatus which in clear view of Pope Francis had protected McCarrick. 

Having blasted Francis directly as well as several other major prelates, Vigano called for Francis to resign:

Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.

In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them. - Archbishop Vigano. Letter. Aug. 22, 2018

To be sure, Franics was not expecting such a challenge from such a highly-placed and well-respected Vatican insider. (Vigano had been second in command at the Vatican under Pope Benedict 16.) And while it is only my speculation, it is an educated speculation that Francis, in the glaring light of the disgusting McCarrick scandal, decided to throw Apuron under the bus as a little demonstration that he did not tolerate ordained sex abusers, and particularly consecrated ones (bishops). 

Without Vigano's very public and naked accusation of Francis and his "lavender" connections, it is quite possible that Francis would have let Apuron off the hook and he'd be back in Guam wreaking hell on all of us:

(Archbishop) Byrnes: Disaster if Apuron were to return (Pacific Daily News, July 6, 2017)

So now, as is his "MO" with his enemies, Francis intends to make Vigano pay. 

The O'Brien Thing

As a side note, this mess allows me the opportunity to once again bring up how Francis' Vatican tried to make me "pay" for exposing Apuron. 

In October 2013, I received a letter from Cardinal Edwin O'Brien threatening to remove me as a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem (of which he was then the Grandmaster) if I didn't stop picking on Apuron via my blog. At the time, the only thing I had posted was about Apuron's mistreatment of Fr. Paul Gofigan, nothing else had blown up yet. I wrote about it here

I challenged O'Brien multiple times to proceed to come after me. He never responded, leading me to believe what I had suspected: that O'Brien had no clue what was going on and had been put up to silencing me by the same people that were trying to silence me in Guam. 

However, in August 2018, I learned that there might be more to O'Brien's running for cover after I confronted him when he was called out by Archbishop Vigano in Vigano's letter of Aug. 22, 2018 (pg. 5):

As far as the Roman Curia is concerned, for the moment I will stop here, even if the names of other prelates in the Vatican are well known, even some very close to Pope Francis, such as Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who belong to the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality...Cardinals Edwin Frederick O’Brien and Renato Raffaele Martino also belong to the same current...

By the way, and I have yet to develop this. After I snuffed out their (Apuron and his people) attempt to silence me even from the Vatican, they went after my family. I intended to expose all of it at a trial on a personal matter. However, the trial was "interrupted" after the first day and never continued. Three years later the matter was suddenly and unexpectedly closed via settlement. I chose to settle to protect my son. This is probably the most evil part of the story...which is why I hesitate to tell it. Maybe one day.

Now, back to Apuron's proposed Guam trial. Apuron fully intends to exonerate himself and condemn me at his trial by exposing the "pressure group that plotted to destroy" him:

Apuron, in his statement, said there's been a coordinated campaign against him. ("Tim Rohr and his associates" - See Apuron's press release of May 31, 2016)

"The pontifical secret prevents me from litigating my good name in public, but I wish to take this opportunity to offer my deepest thanks to the many individuals who have privately and publicly come forward in my defense, despite threats and the climate of fear on my beloved home of Guam," he said.

Apuron said this climate, "shown by the local media, which hampered the work of the court of first instance, testifies to the presence of a pressure group that plotted to destroy me, and which has made itself clearly known even to authorities in Rome." - USA TODAY, April 4, 2019

By the way, while the first announcement about Apuron's guilt did not name what he was found guilty of, the announcement regarding the denial of his appeal did:

On 7 February 2019, the Tribunal of Second Instance upheld the sentence of First Instance finding the Archbishop guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors.Press Release from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 04.04.2019

Thank you Archbishop Vigano for standing up to the deep church.

“Just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God." - Archbishop Vigano

* The release of Vigano's letter on August 22, 2018 was personally serendipitous. It was the worst and loneliest day of my life. I was in the Virgin Islands at the time to see my children and was in the middle of a very ugly legal battle that I won't detail now (or maybe ever). I learned of Vigano's letter three days later on my way back to Guam. When I saw the date of the letter I saw it as a sign from heaven that I was right about who was really behind the attempt to destroy me. I look forward to Apuron's Guam trial and I hope he subpoenas me.

 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

MORE ON "WHERE IS TONY?"

By Tim Rohr


On June 16, I published the post "Where is Tony?" and linked it on the JungleWatch Facebook page. A day later, Facebook removed the post. The following day I posted a follow up story about why I thought Facebook had removed the post. 

I didn't start out the June 16 post with Apuron's whereabouts in mind. The post was supposed to be about Cardinal O'Malley's neocat connections and activities, as inspired by his own post on his own blog. However, in writing the post I had one of those aha moments and speculated that Apuron may very well be residing (hiding) under O'Malley's wing. 

I've never had a JW post removed from Facebook before, and this one was removed within hours of my posting it. Thus my suspicion that I had stumbled upon the truth and that either the Kiko-police or O'Malley's were quick to try to kill the story. There really is no other explanation. Why would Facebook care about mere speculation about where Apuron is?

In doing some research through old posts today I came across a post from 2018 where the following was reported by the Catholic News Agency:

"...in 2009 or 2010, after receiving reports of habitual sexual misconduct on the part of McCarrick, Pope Benedict XVI had ordered that “the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living..."

The report goes on to say that McCarrick was: 

"living at that time in Washington's Redemptoris Mater Seminary."

As we now know, McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington D.C., and a huge power broker for the Church in the U.S., has been found to be one of the worst sex abusers in the entire sordid clergy sex abuse scandal. 

So it's interesting why McCarrick chose a Neocat seminary to shelter in after the scandal broke. And why wouldn't Apuron do the same? There's a nice big, comfortable Neocat seminary in Boston, and it is protected by the most powerful Cardinal in the United States, if not one of the most powerful in the world: Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

As a side note, after McCarrick was forced to leave the RMS in D.C. he took up new residence at a Capuchin Friary: St. Fidelis Friary in Kansas. He was eventually forced from there too. But why would they take him?

O'Malley, like Apuron, is a Capuchin.

FR. Z TO SEMINARIANS: LEARN A TRADE

"Gentlemen, it could be a good idea before the really bad times start to learn a trade.  I don’t know if this might entail night school or crash courses or whatever.  Don’t be dreamy about this.  Consider plumbing, electrical work, technical positions, EMT, etc.  Be practical. (Learning Chinese might be practical too, if you think about it.)"

ASK FATHER: Attacks on the Vetus Ordo… “Aren’t you worried?”

VIGANO: "I ASSUME THE SENTENCE HAS ALREADY BEEN PREPARED..."

Archbishop Viganò responds to schism charge: ‘I regard the accusations against me as an honor’ 


(LifeSiteNews) — The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has informed me, with a simple email, of the initiation of an extrajudicial penal trial against me, with the accusation of having committed the crime of schism and charging me of having denied the legitimacy of “Pope Francis,” of having broken communion “with Him,” and of having rejected the Second Vatican Council.

CONTINUED

Friday, June 21, 2024

VIGANO TO FACE CHARGES OF SCHISM

From Associated Press:

The former nuncio to the US says he faces schism charges from the Vatican

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s former nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, said on Thursday that he has been summoned by the Vatican to face charges of schism.

CONTINUED 



Thursday, June 20, 2024

LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN JAMES MOYLAN ON IVF LEGISLATION

 


LINK to online version

Dear Congressman James Moylan,

Recently, I was made aware that on May 20, U.S. Sens. Katie Britt, R-Ala., and Ted Cruz, R-Tex., introduced the IVF Protection Act in order to ensure that no state prohibits access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) services. As of June 5, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he had already begun the process of bringing a legislative package aimed at protecting Americans’ access to assistive reproductive technology to the floor for a vote.

Congressman, I do not support this bill and ask that you formally make every effort possible to speak against this bill through legislation! Our voices here on Guam must be heard! Do not delay!

The reasons stated by Sens. Cruz and Britt may convey a message of comfort to couples who desire to conceive a child of their own, but the underlying reasons to reject this bill are of moral and legal concerns. “The philosophy that underpins the moral and legal case for abortion dovetails with the philosophy that underpins the case for IVF.” 1

Congressman, as a Republican you may be persuaded to follow the lead of both Republican senators, but in all things, the truth is our guide. Whereas we already know that abortion is immoral, according to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, so is the IVF process and the catechism addresses these issues in the following paragraphs:

# 2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”

#2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.” “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union. … Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.”

To clarify, here are the links between abortion, which kills life, and the IVF process, which creates life:

1. The IVF process amounts to an early-stage form of eugenics. Both abortion and IVF treat human life in a callous, haphazard way. In the IVF process, clinicians use the process called “embryo grading.” 2 The embryos are evaluated and “graded” for their cellular quality, and assist a couple in determining the sex of their child, as well as the physical qualities of their child. Although some may be saved for future use, all unwanted embryos are literally discarded/aborted! Ultimately, the IVF process establishes “the domination of technology” 3 over human life. 

2. “A second link between abortion and IVF is that they share the same false anthropology. Abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide give humans the final say over the end of life whereas IVF gives humans the final say over the beginning of life.” “IVF distorts what it means for a child to be a gift [from God] by instrumentalizing the creation of new life. The IVF clinicians attempt to play God in the process.” 

3. A third link between abortion and IVF is that both have evolved to confuse mankind as to the purpose of sex, which is the creation of life and continuance of the human race. What this means is that a couple can indulge in sex-for-purely-pleasure, and abortion gives them “an out” or the ability to prevent the birth of the fetus. The other side of this purpose-of-sex-coin is that IVF demotes the value of sex by eliminating sex in the process of procreation: The ovaries are removed in a lab, the sperms are obtained via masturbation, and the embryos are created in a petri dish.

In summary, congressman, please read the article from Crisis Magazine, as well the paragraphs from the catechism of the Catholic Church, which clearly explains why the IVF is a gravely immoral act. Lobby against the passage of the IVF Protection Act. If you have a question, or want to discuss strategy, please call me anytime after 7 a.m. Guam time.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Maria P. Espinoza

Monday, June 17, 2024

A P.S. TO "WHERE IS TONY?" AND THE "ASSORTMENT FROM HELL"

By Tim Rohr

I usually link posts on this blog to my personal account on X and to the JungleWatch Facebook Page. Within hours of posting a link to the story "Where is Tony?" Facebook removed it for going against community standards. 


As you can see from reading the post yourself, there is absolutely nothing that could be against FB community standards and I have certainly linked much more incendiary posts. 

I filed a complaint to FB and asked for a review. We'll see what happens. However, for now, I am quite certain that the thing that triggered the removal was a complaint either from the Kiko police or O'Malley's. And it's very probable that the reason for the quick action and the complaint was that I named Apuron's hiding place.

BTW, as I was reviewing the post, I noticed another current story about O'Malley in JW's linked blogs on the right sidebar.  The story is about an interfaith prayer service O'Malley apparently hosted a couple days ago in his cathedral. The author refers to the guest speakers as "an assortment from hell." (LINK)

You'll need to press translate to read it unless you can read Italian.


Sunday, June 16, 2024

WHERE IS "TONY?"

By Tim Rohr

A friend recently forwarded a link to a post on the blog of Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston. 

Before moving on to what I want to write about, I will say that the Cardinal gets good marks for his blog. It's not only an excellent medium for keeping in touch with his flock, but also a way to present himself as accountable to that flock as his posts generally highlight his day to day activities as Shepherd. 

I have a past connection with the Cardinal. He was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands when I lived and worked there in the early 1980's. While named "Diocese of St. Thomas," the diocese encompasses the whole U.S. Territory of the Virgin Islands which consists of three main islands: St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. I lived on St. Croix.

Moreover, I had something to do with O'Malley's appointment. 

The short story is that I had inadvertently uncovered a drug ring that was operating in the Catholic high school I was teaching at, and it appeared that the ring was operating under the cover and protection of the then-principal, albeit via blackmail. The principal was a favorite of the then-bishop (O'Malley's predecessor), and the principal enjoyed pretty much complete immunity to any complaint brought against him to the bishop. 

I informed a local priest of what I hade learned and suspected, and short story even shorter, the priest immediately took action to remove the principal. In doing so, some things other than the drug ring were uncovered - some rather terrible things - and the bishop retired not long after the principal was removed. (I wrote more about this in 2013.)

O'Malley was then a young "up and comer" and he was sent in to fix the mess, sort of like what happened here in Guam a few years ago. Interestingly enough, O'Malley and Apuron are both Capuchins. There is only one other Capuchin bishop in the U.S., Archbishop Charles Chaput

More interestingly, all three are in tight with the Neocatechumenal Way, and especially O'Malley. 


In August, 2016, O'Malley was seen at a meeting seated behind NCW chief, Kiko Arguello, as Arguello characterized the then-new accusations against Apuron as "persecutions." Chuck White wrote about it here.


Here is a screenshot from a news clip showing O'Malley and Apuron sitting together at a meeting in the Vatican in September, 2015. At the time, Apuron had already been under fire for removing Fr. Paul and Msgr. James, John Toves had publicly accused him of molesting his cousin, and the whole Certificate of Title Fiasco regarding the RMS property had been exposed.


For some reason, this screenshot of the two sitting together at the Vatican in September 2015 is our post with the highest number of views, even though it's only a screenshot with no story. As you can see, the post with the next most views is very far behind.


In his blog post of June 14, 2024, O'Malley has two entries about the Neocatechumenal Way: 

1) He visits Boston's Redemptoris Mater Seminary for the institution of new acolytes and lectors (steps toward priesthood); 


and 2) he attends a groundbreaking ceremony for an "expansion project" for the same seminary.


At first I thought "nothing to see here." O'Malley has been pals with the NCW hierarchy for quite awhile. But then it occurred to me that if Apuron has found a hiding place anywhere, it may be with his fellow Capuchin and in a diocese where - with O'Malley's help - the NCW is very strong. 

Just a thought. Maybe more later.  

Thursday, June 13, 2024

PRIDE MONTH: AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY


LINK to online version

In his June 8 letter to the editor, Sen. Parkinson lashed out at “instances of hate directed toward the LGBTQ+ community.” He then went on to lecture about flags, symbols, equality, love, acceptance, resilience, etc.

Given Parkinson’s righteous eloquence and his reference to “instances” (plural) and “hateful actions” (plural), one would think that war had broken out in the streets and gays were being rounded up and deported.

But despite Parkinson’s attempt to magnify the matter by digging up another incident from “a few years ago,” there is only one incident: the tearing down of a pride flag in Sinajana, and we don’t even know if it was actually a “hateful action” or a stupid one by just another screwball vandal.

Nevertheless, Parkinson gets good marks for being sharp enough to see an opportunity for free media not long before the next election.

Speaking of “hate” though, if one wants to experience it, you only need to speak up about the issue as I am doing now. Nothing labels you a “hater” faster or harder than having an opinion that doesn’t genuflect before the rainbow flag.

Back in 2009-2010, during what I call “the same-sex wars,” I found myself quite alone and at the center of things after legislation was introduced to legalize same-sex unions.

I ended up at “the center of things” not because I challenged same-sex unions morally but because I challenged the legislative shenanigans employed to try to slip the bill into law.

However, to take any position opposing the bill – even just demanding an honest legislative process – made you a hater.

I’m not sure why I cared about the issue. On a personal level, I don’t even notice or care about a person’s sexual orientation. However, reading Parkinson’s faux-Churchillian address to his “subjects” reminded me of why I entered the fray.

If there’s something that sets me off, it’s the abuse of little people by big people, big people like a senator, like Sen. Parkinson.

In this case (and in my opinion), Parkinson blows up a single pathetic act of vandalism into a Pride Month apocalypse, not only to send out his low-frequency virtue signal but to cast himself as an LGBTQ+ Lancelot even if he is only jousting at straw men, or is it windmills?

The same thing happened in the same-sex war thing. Other than serious missteps by the now-banished Archbishop Apuron (which I’ll get to), there was never any meaningful opposition to the legislation so there was no need to sneak the thing through.

However, the proponents weren’t looking to simply get a bill passed, they were looking for a fight, or more so, a stage, and a stage with a spotlight, a spotlight on them. So when no fight materialized, they created an army of straw men and attacked their manufactured “haters.”

The media at the time was all in. So the whole thing became a machine, not a political machine to legalize same-sex unions but a machine to elevate and aggrandize an in-your-face normalization of same-sex behavior, lifestyle, whatever you want to call it. And the machine rolled over and crushed into “haters” any little people who dared peep up with any thought to the contrary.

Actually, the whole thing was such a false fight that it would have gotten tired of itself and gone away but for Apuron’s ghostwriter priest at the now infamous Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Said priest fancied himself a moral theologian and attacked the bill via a letter to the Legislature in which he referenced the beheading of homosexuals by Muslims. Unfortunately for the now-banished Apuron, the priest did not put his name to the letter but distributed it on Apuron’s letterhead.

And wham! That’s all the proponents needed. They had their straw man: a Catholic archbishop (Apuron) who would allegedly behead homosexuals. I still remember the news report showing Apuron running down a hallway with reporters chasing after him.

Ultimately, the legislation did go away when the sponsor withdrew it. On Catholic Guam you might think that it was withdrawn for moral reasons. It was not.

There was plenty of support for the bill and it would have passed but for a phone call one morning into a radio talk show by the then-director of the GovGuam retirement fund.

Said director outlined the probable negative impact of same-sex unions on the retirement fund and that was that. The sponsor withdrew the bill the next day.

Tim Rohr has resided in Guam since 1987. He has raised a family of 11 children, owned several businesses and most recently been active in local issues via his blog, JungleWatch.info, letters to local publications and occasional public appearances. He may be contacted at timrohr.guam@gmail.com 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

RESILIENCE

By Tim Rohr


The following is an excerpt from an essay titled Firing Back - How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters by Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld and Andrew J. Ward. The essay is included in a collection of essays titled RESILIENCE, which is one installment in the EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE series published by Harvard Business Review. My comments will follow.

    (Martha) Stewart is a model for how to regain your heroic status. She did it by carefully orchestrating a multitiered campaign to restore her reputation.  
    The day after she was indicted for obstruction of justice in the federal government's insider-trading investigation of ImClone stock, Stewart took out a full-page advertisement in USA TODAY and the NEW YORK TIMES  and launched a new website, marthatalks.com. In an open letter to her public, Stewart clearly proclaimed her innocence and her intention to clear her name. She understood intuitively that when a hero stumbles, constitutents have to reconcile two conflicting images of the person - the larger-than-life presence the hero once commanded and the hero's new fallen state. In her letter, Stewart managed to eliminate the confusion by making sure that people knew her side of the story. She openly denied any charges of insider trading and hammered home the unreliability of the three witnesses upon which the government based its case. Stewart very proactively helped others continue to believe in her heroic status. 
    Stewart's open letter was supported by a statement on her website by her attorneys...who challenged the media to investigage why the government waited nearly a year and a half to file the charges. "Is it because she is a woman who has successfully competed in a man's business world by virtue of her talent, hard work, and demanding standards?" they asked.
    With the aid of her attorneys, Stewart ingeniously - and successfully - portrayed herself as a David struggling in a just and valiant quest against the Goliath of government. Her fans, far from abandoning a fallen star, rallied around her. The astounding strength of this sentiment is meaured in the stock price of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Even at the midpoint of Stewart's prison sentence, the stock had not merely rebounded - it was 50% higher than before anybody had heard of ImClone and the ill-fated stock transaction. Upon her release from prison, the share price neared an all-time high, ad revenue at her magazines picked up, and she launched two national network TV shows. The more Stewart got her story out, the more loyal her public became.

My comments

I bought this book about a year ago in an airport. I had recently endured a particularly trying time in my personal life so the title "Resilience" jumped out at me. I read the whole book on one leg of my flight, and a year later, on another trip, I am rereading it.

One of the things I kept hearing from friends and family during the aforesaid "trying time" - wherein I was publicly and falsely accused of some particularly heinous acts - was "don't worry, the truth will come out." 

And I suppose had the lies impacted only myself that I might have just accepted that advice. However, the lies were hurting my youngest children and I didn't have time to wait around for the "truth to come out." So I fought back.

It took awhile to learn how to do that as my fighting had to occur in court, and it was a fight that was severely hampered by negligent counsel, the Covid shutdown of the courts, fast depleting finances, and even what I believed to be malpractice by a particular judge. 

I could have fought back publicly, however, my then-counsel threatened me to keep quiet or "find another lawyer." In hindsight, I would have been better off to "find another lawyer," but that's another story. 

In the end I succeeded - insofar as I was able to achieve objectives related to the welfare of my children. And I did this by getting "my story" (my side of things) out where it mattered: in court. 

Not that the judge (the fifth in my case) made a decision based on my story (or maybe even never read my filings), but that my account of things, i.e. "the truth," had to be engaged by my opponent, and once confronted with that truth in the context of a court filing, my opponent decided not to press on with the lies and settled for terms probably much more favorable to me than if the court had made the decision.

I don't want to go any further with "my story." That's enough for now. The thing I wanted to share is how important it is for you not to give up because of "the system." Of course "the system" is unfair. Life is unfair. When you get knocked down, get back up. The world is watching and someone needs to hear your story.