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Is The Keepers As Genuinely Terrified By The Catholic Church As Its Subjects?
And other not-quite-burning legal, ethical, and technical questions about E04.
I understand the need to disguise "Deep Throat"'s voice, but could they not have found a means to do that that didn't render him incomprehensible?
The terror that various subjects in The Keepers feel at the influence of the Catholic Church is very real. I come out of a jeans-and-guitars hippie church, and my minister uncle is so mellow he won't raise his voice for a fire in the kitchen, so my experience of religious authority is very different from the all-encompassing and intimidating thrall at work here. Not that Deep Throat (and is it me, or is that choice of codename under the circs...not the greatest?) is wrong, or exaggerating. We've seen the lengths to which various archdioceses will go to bury allegations of abuse, and the idea of a cabal of cassocked oldsters muttering that my husband might fall down a manhole is an eye-roller to me, but for people raised in the faith -- a faith that I think encourages the impression of itself as a mafia of sorts -- it's more difficult to take that perspective.
So part of me feels like Deep Throat's concern with masking his identity is melodramatic, but part of me is sympathetic. All of that said, he's nearly incomprehensible on the audio track. The Baltimore accent does not lend itself to the vocoder treatment for whatever reason; could the production consider going back and captioning him?
Wouldn't the burial itself of the records and papers have strongly suggested to Sharon A.H. May some kind of wrongdoing?
Because you have two issues here: the fact that Father Joseph Maskell wanted to hide the records; and the fact that he couldn't bring himself to destroy the records. So there's something in them that he wants to keep secret, and there's something in them that he wants to keep close. One thing I did make out in Deep Throat's comments is his note that "a pedophile cannot separate from his collection," a concept that May must have understood after years as a prosecutor.
Yes, I understand that the sort of profiling we all think we can do here in 2017 thanks to Criminal Minds and Thomas Harris does not empower a state's attorney to bring charges, but if he's trying to hide these records and he's dumb enough to enlist an accomplice who could (and did) tell someone that he hid them, and where, wouldn't you put an investigator on what you did find and try to tease out some pattern? Especially if, as you claim, you didn't get any pressure from the archdiocese about the case and wouldn't have buckled to it if you had?
And do we believe that?
May and her excellent spectacles don't seem like they have tried to hear a Church spokesperson warning her off a strong case; I don't think she's lying. I do think the position has its politics, and May wasn't about to kick that beehive without an airtight case. It's not cinematically admirable, but it's not corrupt, either.
But why couldn't Maskell be compelled to appear and be deposed?
Isn't that what a subpoena is supposed to do? I don't understand this re: all the shit with Mike Flynn lately, either -- since when do you just get to "uuuuuummmmmmmmmm nah" a subpoena? It's not an Evite. Once Maskell fucks off to Ireland, that complicates the situation, but is it a thing that you can be subpoena'd and just...not?
I don't understand how the statute of limitations pertains in a civil suit or class action, either. I am not a lawyer, I do not live in Maryland, and I acknowledge despite how exercised I get about it sometimes that Law & Order: SVU is a fictional program. But doesn't that statute only apply to criminal charges? If it doesn't, I see the logic -- the court system is trying to discourage frivolous/vengeful filings too long after the fact -- but was there another way to position it to get around that? Wrongful death? ...RICO? Again, I see the virtue of setting limits on these sorts of actions, but it's here that I'd have preferred a little less time spent in moody crows-on-branches montage, and a little more on the state codes that set out these parameters.
Not least because retired cop James Scannell's attitude towards "recovered memory" cases annoyed me so much, I took half a page of caps notes.
Do Scannell and his ilk understand, when they dismiss the motives behind lawsuits involving sexual abuse/assault as "trying to make a quick buck," how titanic a pain in the ass it is to bring ANY lawsuit?
I'd like you, dear reader, to think of a harder way to "make a buck" than to bring suit against a religious organization because it allowed its employees to rape you as a child. I'll wait.
...Yeah. Ya cain't. It's easier to rob a bank. It's easier to weave the paper and slot in the microfilm and hand-carve the plates and print your own goddamn money. Running a lemonade stand with no lemons and no cups is easier. Scannell is an old guy and a retired cop and has seen plenty to make him cynical, and if he doesn't want it to be true, that's fine; he can just say that. If he feels beleaguered as a Catholic by the fact that these cover-ups never seem to stop, or get disproven, I get it, and he should just say that.
But anyone who truly believes that scraping together money and co-complainants to hire a lawyer, and to tell the lawyer everything that happened to you, and to sit through hostile depositions like the ones Jean Wehner and Teresa Lancaster describe that re-rape you and put you on trial for having the temerity to "let" this happen when you were a freshman in high school, and to wait and wait for a court date, and to get cross-examined again on these horrors when that date finally comes, and then after all that to maybe get nothing from the jury, or the cold comfort of a judgment coupled with a damage award of a single dollar, so you literally made A buck while all the times you went to second base with your eighth-grade boyfriend are sitting on Front Street like you did something wrong...to a religious institution in which you and your whole family placed their faith...anyone who really thinks that that is "easy money"? Take two fucking seconds to think about what you're saying before you sniff that "in our society, they go for the deep pockets," and if you still default to that opinion, you're an idiot who shouldn't go outside without a helmet on.
False accusations exist. To act like they're the norm defies common sense. Common sense tells us that money won't make up for what happened, or be worth it as far as enduring the trial process. The point is to get 12 fellow citizens into the official record as believing these survivors, formally seeing what happened to them -- to make up, a little bit, for all the times Scannell and everyone like him shrugged them off or punted on doing anything because "you know how teenage girls like to make shit up" or whatever crappy privilege rationale they gave themselves.
So how about we stop doing that?