St. Mary’s Brothers & Teachers Confess to Rape and Abuse

Update, November 20, 2014: The inimitable Sylvia deconstructs a recent Kagei letter to parents, blow-by-blow, in an awesome exercise of critical thinking.  My favourite is how Kagei declares that the raped alumni are “no longer members of the St. Mary’s community” (??), yet, asks parents at the end of the letter to “pray” for them.  That’s right, parents: abused victims of Catholic institutions are to be thrown out of the community and pitied.  Carry on.  Eueeeech.  Kagei lumped the expelled victims with their abusers, who are somehow also not part of the SMIS community.  No doubt Kagei hoped to divert from the awareness that perhaps there are CURRENT victims at the school, and EXISTING abusers.  Not to mention that Br. Lawrence lives with the Brothers in Quebec, who own the school, which makes this a lie. 

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.51.34 AM

The best part of Sylvia’s analysis is highlighting that when the St. Mary’s rapist himself writes a letter to say that he did rape a child, Kagei lied to have called it an “allegation” over and over in every letter sent out to parents.  Does the fancy swirly whirl of the Br. Lawrence signature not mean anything to Kagei?

Sylvia points out that SMIS has hired a risk management company as part of an investigative panel for the sexual abuse cases.  WTF indeed.  They’re even named 360, as in degrees?  I guess we gotta prepare to see Kagei do a couple of 180s.  First, from total silence for 8 months to “we care so much” (upon news story exposure).  Next, from “we care so much” to…”damn these pesky alumni trying seek acknowledgement of their childhood rape whilst in the care of our institution, how dare they??”  It’s already precipitating in the letter.

Are the panelists here to make lemonade out of lemons?  It’ll be kinda hard to put a positive spin on child-rape and cover-up.  Who chose this panel?  Who’s paying them?  Who cares?  It’s the the A-team of PR consultants, y’all!  What are they being paid?  If not enough, why would they lend any more than a disinterest glance at any victim, coming forward?  Even Kagei has to speak for them–prob. to save some yen.  Are these rare compassionate human-beings pitching in to help simply out of the goodness of their hearts?  Not likely.  What resources do they have to handle sensitive, deep, troubling and time-consuming cases?  That’s important to know.  For comparison purposes, this is how the investigative team for ASIJ victims (the survivors’ own lawyers: O’Donnell Clark & Crew) championed the issue in a press-release, issued directly by them.  These legal professionals, without the need to make a grand entrance, cared enough about the issue, to say a few words to the beleaguered community, themselves.  However, the school’s set of lawyers, Ropes & Gray, who are doing a parallel investigation, are a totally different story [Update April 18, 2015: not only have the school and Ropes&Gray failed to process a report by their own due date of Fall 2014, they have issued no updates except one that seems to shift blame on the victims for the delay–because the victims demanded too many things like “transparency”.  See what O’Donnell Clark & Crew were able to prove with concrete evidence to Ropes & Gray.]

Without the knowledge of the degreed panel’s level of care, here’s what the Kagei game-plan looks like:

“Children were raped at our school, you ask?  By our teachers?  Why look at these here Harvard degrees from our illustrious panel!” Kagei says as he wand-waves over the parents, who are desperately trying to hold together a decent school year for their kids.  

Kagei, your school makes it hard for parents.  Why do they even have to deal with the spectre of your staff’s criminality?  And foot the bill so you can PR-spin your child-rape cases? USD $25,000+ a year per child in tuition?  It was certainly a great business model, while it lasted.  Will it survive the internet’s long memory?  How about film?  One alumnus who came forward is a documentarian.

Also, just to keep it in perspective folks, here are 15 notable criminals from Harvard University.  16 if you count President Larry Summers, king of conflict of interest, architect of massive deregulation that put many St. Mary’s dads out of investment banking work in the global financial crisis of ’08, and helped wipe out $5 trillion in global savings and pensions.  More than anything here, that man was most responsible for the enrolment drop at St. Mary’s and the consequent lack of international diversity at the school, bar none.  I’d add him to this list (for the global crisis, I mean.  Obviously.):

Amy Bishop (born 1965)
PhD 1993
John Donald Cody
Harvard Law School 1972
Aka “Bobby Thompson”; Convicted November 14, 2013 of charges in connection with United States Navy Veterans Association
Marc Stuart Dreier
Juris DoctorHarvard Law School 1975
Securities fraud
Gina Grant (born 1976)
Did not matriculate
voluntary manslaughter. Lied on application about killing mother. Early Admission offered, then rescinded.
Christopher Janus (1911–2009)
College 1936
Bank Fraud
Ted Kaczynski(born 1942)
College 1962
Unabomber terrorist/Murderer
Viktor Kozeny (born 1963)
College 1989
Fugitive financier
Chas Lee (born 1971)
College 1993
Suzanne Pomey(born 1980)
College 2002
Joshua Parker {1690-died after 1732}
Class of 1710 {did not graduate}
Forger; brother-in-law of Nicholas Fessenden Class of 1701
Henry Phillips
Class of 1724
Murderer {Duelist}-died in exile in France 1729
William Pickard(born 1945)
Kennedy School of Government1996
LSD manufacturer
Eugene Plotkin
College 2000
Convicted of insider trading
Robert Livingston Schuyler {b.1798}
Class of 1817
Louis Agassiz Shaw II {1906–1987}
Class of 1929
Jeffrey Skilling(born 1953)
Business 1979
Conspiracy, making false statements, insider trading, and securities fraud during the Enron case
Sinedu Tadesse(1974–1995)
College 1996 (did not graduate)
Chuck Turner (born 1941)
College 1963
Convicted felon and former Boston City Council Member
Dr John White Webster (1793–1850)
College 1811
Richard Whitney (financier) (1888–1974)
Stephen H. Kessler(1930s-?)
Medical 1957
“Mad LSD Slayer” of 1967

[Brother Lawrence’s and the Brotherhood’s letters of confession / apology for rape, below]

Pain of Sexual Abuse 1

Leo Burnett Thailand created this powerful ad for Bangkok-based Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation

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Click to link to story

Well, so much for allegations.

The following are excerpts from the letters of confession, which we just learned that the school actually had in their possession prior to January 31, 2014 when they were still communicating this matter as “an allegation”, to parents:

Letter 1 is from Brother Lawrence to his victim:

“I finally take this opportunity to offer you my sincere apologies for assaulting you in 1965. It should never have happened. At that moment, I chose selfishly my pleasure, putting aside your value as a human being, the values that I wished to live by, the true endeavor of an educator, and the mission of my congregation. I am ashamed of what I did.”

Letter 2 reveals details of the sexual assault:

“The simple truth is that still today I cannot understand the fact I raped you. It was the first time I did that in my life, and I did not do that again. I was on my way to my bedroom upstairs when I saw you and saw nothing wrong with talking with you on the way. But then somehow passion suddenly took over and I did what I should never have done and selfishly and violently hurt your body and hurt your heart for the rest of your life.”

Letter 3 is from the Brothers of Christian Instruction:

“Our Congregation also bears responsibilities concerning the evil that was done to you. A warmer community life, a better awareness of the sexuality of men living in communities, and also a strong willingness to cope frankly with the evil done to you could have helped in preventing such wicked actions, or could have helped you get through that ordeal, but it was not the way the situation was dealt with. I am sorry.”

It is undeniable the full extent of rape that happened at St. Mary’s by a Brother, acknowledged by the perpetrator and the administration.  Why didn’t the school publicize this as such?  Since then, we know Brother Lawrence was sent off campus to a Japanese school in Shizuoka, where apparently the safety of Japanese children don’t matter as much.  Then, he was allowed a quiet exit from the country to retire in Canada.  Is St. Mary’s International School truly being accountable for what went on at their institution?  It is only because the Japan Times, outraged alumni, this blog and others have been persisting that the school has HAD to admit that it knew.  The school admin add that they are only now distressed to learn the extent of things and started reaching out to alumni who’ve been abused.  Of course, they have known all along and were content to sit on it passively for 9 months.

If you are part of the school community and are committed to it–recognize that the “leaders” in place are probably NOT the ones to make real, credible policy about this deeply important matter for the present and future safety and reputation of the students and school.  This is a complex situation, requires a a steady hand to separate the cancer from the vital organs.  Know that it IS possible to support the current students AND hold this administration to account.  YOU and the students are what makes the school great every year–how much greater would the school be with an admin that would act responsibly?  Remember: the perpetrator only retired a year ago.  Current students were among his charge.

And in case you thought it was just the Brothers at St. Mary’s, here’s a second article:

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Click to link to story.



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17 responses to “St. Mary’s Brothers & Teachers Confess to Rape and Abuse

  1. You post interesting posts here. Your blog deserves much more traffic.

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  2. Heart broken alumnus

    O St. Mary’s, you are so disobedient to the Catholic Church. You mistreat boys who want to become Catholic and even refer them to get psychological therapy and yet claim to be Catholic. You would probably laugh at and scorn the statement in this video:

  3. there are Catholics and there are pagans at SMIS

    Yes, SMIS and the entire Catholic Church in Japan are quite wicked and evil. We see no inquiry from the Church at all, despite the latest from Rome.

  4. Heart broken alumnus

    It seems that years ago, in order to get good catechism, one had to go to the Franciscan Chapel Center and listen to the Franciscan friars there. The Franciscans were very honest and sincere. The Franciscan Chapel Center was a place to get away from St. Mary’s and make some good friends among students from better international schools.

    The catechism at St. Mary’s is watered down. The good brothers were relegated to even silence and low profile status, and even mistreated by the corrupt administration. That school is pagan. A certain former guidance counselor mistreated some students who wanted so much to become Catholic; he had at least one undergo counseling to get him to lose hope in the Catholic faith (actually, he could have gotten that boy to lose hope in the Catholic faith if he told the boy about Br. Lessard—LOL). That same Guidance counselor mistreated Br. Charles Desjarlais (a superb administrator who was always a thorn in the side of the corrupt powers that be at the school) while he was high school Principal. That same Guidance counselor also mistreated Mr. Harold Fleetham and Fr. Matthew (2 high school Principals who could not buy into the corruption and resigned because they could not go along).

    By the way, Saburo, you should try to settle the Lessard cases. What do you have to lose if you do so? If you deal with the Lessard cases and help out the victims, you will actually become a hero.

  5. Heart broken alumnus

    At least in the USA, by the way, things are being done right.

    By the way, while SM has been in decline for over 35 years, the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio has been on the rise. SMIS, learn from a good example!!! Steubenville is doing so well because they are faithful to what Jesus Christ wanted out of the Catholic faith.

  6. Heart broken alumnus

    SMIS, below is a link to a video about Fr. Mike Scanlan, the priest who became the President of the Franciscan University of Steubenville and revived that dying college. He retired in 2011, but that University continues to prosper. I hope that you learn from the video and implement what he implemented to revive that university. What Fr. Mike did is a huge miracle! Please learn.

  7. Heart broken alumnus

    stmaryslabor dispute, that video is really directed towards the SMIS administration.
    There are several alumni of SMIS who are disappointed with the school. Some even hope that the school will close down. I think that there is still hope for the school. The administration can learn from good example.
    Ed Paradis, a legendary teacher from the golden days of SMIS, once told me that the Catholic Church will do well when the Church upholds its roots and principles. That is the very reason why Fr. Mike Scanlan was so successful in reviving a dying Catholic college and turning it into a success story as a Catholic University.

    One SM alumnus, who is a convert to the Catholic faith (he did study for the priesthood for several years (he left the seminary a year before he was supposed to be ordained) and is active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal) visited the Franciscan University and was impressed; he also met Fr. Mike Scalan. He left that place telling himself, “Had the Catholic faith been presented and lived out that way at St. Mary’s International School, I would have been much happier while I lived in Tokyo.” From what I hear is that the infamous Guidance Counselor used to royally mistreat this alumnus too.

  8. SMIS parents want their boys sexually assaulted "again"

    Hey heart broken,

    Are you in Tokyo?

    SMIS parents don’t seem to mind that Kagei is lying and there will be no inquiry. SMIS parents don’t seem to mind that they are being taken for fools. SMIS parents don’t seem to mind that their boys are at risk from sexual predators.

  9. Heart Broken Alumnus

    Hi SMIS parents…. After all that I went through and witnessed in Tokyo, I would not dare go near Japan for a very long time (that is if I were to ever plan to visit Japan, I would not go back for a long time).
    I am beginning to wonder if the school administration knows how to cover up in a way that most people are fooled into thinking that all is fine and dandy and that nothing could possibly ever go wrong at that school. There are times when some notice the corruption, speak out and then get mistreated by the school administration. The late Mr. Gaskin (long time Middle School Principal) and a certain former Guidance counselor were notorious for mistreating those who could not go along with the corruption.

  10. watching google

    Great to see when SMIS is googled up comes the sex scandal.

  11. Heart Broken Alumnus

    Sylvia found out more info regarding Frank Selas who was mentioned in the October 27, 2014 Japan Times article.
    Let us hope that we can catch this fugitive and put him behind bars or in a psychiatric ward (where he belongs).

  12. Heart Broken Alumnus

    By the way, to the SM administration, that spurns solid and true Catholic teaching, you will probably spurn the Archbishop featured in this article:
    You can wonder why he is doing so well as a Bishop and why he has had a good number of seminarians. SM has not had 1 alumnus ordained to the priesthood in 60 years of existence; a successful Catholic school would have 1 alumnus ordained per decade of existence. SM has failed as a Catholic school.

    • walter schulze

      i live in san francisco and the divisiveness and the hatred this man is bringing into the city through “catholicism” is pretty sick. i hope st. mary’s do not bring someone like him into the picture.

  13. Jackie

    Great blog. But, just FYI – the update is incorrect where it says:

    “for comparison purposes, this is how the investigative team for ASIJ victims championed the issue in a press-release, issued directly by them. Neither the school nor the victims at ASIJ had to flog resumes on their behalf. The investigators cared enough about the issue, to say a few words to the beleaguered community, themselves.”

    The people who released that press report were NOT in anyway affiliated with ASIJ – that release was issued by the lawyers for the 13 victims of child sex abuse at ASIJ. Nearly a year later, ASIJ and Ropes and Gray (the law firm ASIJ hired to conduct their investigation) have neither completed a report nor issued ANY updates to the community beyond a pathetic letter earlier this month (which wrongly blamed the victims for the delay).

    Just wanted to be clear that ASIJ is hardly setting an example… Once again, the VICTIMS are forced to try to squeeze some tiny amount of responsibility out of the school.

    • stmaryslabordispute

      Noted–and corrected to more clearly separate the heroes: O’Donnell Clark & Crew, from the zeroes: Ropes & Gray. Appalling.

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